Along the Esplanade | Kent State Magazine | Strong Finish | Kent State University

Along the Esplanade | Strong Finish

Kent State is one of 27 universities nationwide offering a non-degree program tailored for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Career and Community Studies program, which was funded by a federal grant for its first four years, celebrated the first 19 students to complete the four-year college experience with a commencement-like completion ceremony in the Kent Student Center Kiva on May 5th. President Beverly Warren spoke and presented records of completion to each student. 

The program focuses on academics, independent living skills and career development. Some courses are modified to support individual student needs. Students work on campus and in the community through internships that help improve their work and social skills. Those who qualify have the opportunity to live in a residence hall as part of a living-learning community.

The students took Kent State courses related to their career interests, attended sports events and hung out at local coffee shops like other college students. 

“Research shows that students often do better when they’re with their typical peers,” says Tom Hoza, Ph.D., Kent State’s director of outreach and employment for the Career and Community Studies program. “It’s been exciting to see everyone grow socially, academically and in their career field.” 

Learn more about the Career and Community Studies program at www.kentccs.com.

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