First Presenter's Institution

The Citadel

Second Presenter's Institution

The Citadel

Third Presenter's Institution

The Citadel

Fourth Presenter's Institution

The Citadel

Fifth Presenter's Institution

Charleston Charter School for Math and Science

Location

Vernon

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This presentation relates very closely with Strand 5, HOME: Family & Community, as it details two mentor partnerships between a college and schools in the same neighborhood as the college, a 6-12 public charter school and a K-8 private school. Presenters will include professors and student mentor representatives from the college, as well as faculty representatives from both schools. The presentation also relates to Strand 2, HEART: Social & Emotional Skills, as it discusses the emotional and social impacts of mentoring partnerships for college student mentors and K-12 student mentees, including those from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Brief Program Description

In an interactive discussion with audience members, presenters will share ideas for developing positive mentor-mentee partnerships between K-12 schools and colleges; discuss the impact of two recently established mentor partnerships, as well as perspectives from college student mentors and K-12 teachers of student mentees with learning differences; collaboratively examine data to discuss potential program adaptations; and provide mentoring activities that audience members can utilize.

Summary

Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging for students, especially those with learning differences. In many cases, the students’ parents have advocated for services and accommodations that have helped them succeed in K-12 schools; however, in the college environment, students are expected to advocate for themselves. While college students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations under ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the students must initiate the services. Some may lack the self- determination and self-advocacy skills to do so.

In order to explore innovative solutions for helping students with learning differences successfully transition to the post-secondary environment and to address needs expressed by faculty members at neighborhood schools, professors at a college in the Southeast helped establish mentor partnerships between their college and two local schools, a K-8 private school and a 6-12 public charter school. The programs attempt to address the academic, social, and emotional needs of both mentors and mentees. College student mentors, some of whom self-reported that they have learning disabilities or AD/HD, are paired with K-12 students with learning differences. During the programs’ first year of existence, the professors worked with each school’s learning specialists to develop objectives for the programs. The professors and learning specialists then held training sessions with the college students to detail best practices in mentoring. The mentoring sessions were held on a weekly basis during the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters and focused on social skills, self-advocacy, self-determination, self-regulation, and academics. Data was collected during mentoring sessions. Lessons learned during year one have influenced proposed minor changes for year two. Data will continue to be collected.

During this presentation professors will describe the development and implementation of mentor programs for students with learning differences. K-12 learning specialists will present the programs’ impact on the academic, social, and emotional dimensions of their students. College student mentors will share their perspectives on mentoring and its impact. Presenters will collaboratively examine program goals and assessment data with audience members to explore possible adaptations of the programs. Examples of mentoring activities will be provided.

Evidence

According to a report by the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, less than 20 percent of students with disabilities reportedly received accommodations or other supports from secondary institutions, while almost 90 percent received accommodations or similar support while in high school. (Newman, Wagner, Knokey, Marder, Navel, Shaver, Wei, 2011, pp. xv). Leake, Burgstahler, and Izzo (2011) found that mentor/mentee relationships can be important in helping culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities “take critical steps toward successful transitions to higher academic levels and careers” (p 127). Additionally, in a study that explored parent, peer, teacher, and mentor relationship with high school students with documented disabilities, Pham and Murray (2015) found that mentors, along with parents and teachers, meaningfully contributed to the students’ “emotional, behavioral, and school related outcomes” (p. 247).

The mentor partnerships described in this presentation follow several practices outlined in Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (Garringer, Kupersmidt, Rhodes, Stelter, & Tai, 2015) and were developed in order to attempt to assist secondary students with documented disabilities in successfully transitioning to higher education; to support the academic, social, and emotional aspects of K-12 students with learning differences; and to address students’ needs as outlined by K-12 learning specialists.

Garringer, M., Kupersmidt, J., Rhodes, J., Stelter, R., & Tai, T. (2015). Elements of effective practice for mentoring (4th ed.). Boston, MA: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Leake, D., Burgstalher, S., and Izzo, M. V. (2011). Promoting transition success for culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities: The value of mentoring. Creative Education, 2(2), 121-129.

Newman, L., Wagner, M., Knokey, A.-M., Marder, C., Nagle, K., Shaver, D., Wei, X., with Cameto, R., Contreras, E., Ferguson, K., Greene, S., and Schwarting, M. (2011). The post-high school outcomes of young adults with disabilities up to 8 years after high school: A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) (NCSER 2011-3005). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Pham, Y.K., & Murray, C. (2016). Social relationships among adolescents with disabilities; Unique and cumulative associations with adjustment. Exceptional Children, 82(2), 234-250.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Tammy Graham is an Associate Professor in the Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel and is advisor of the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel.

Renée Jefferson is a Professor and the Assistant Dean for Assessment and Continuous Improvement in the Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel.

Koy Mai is a Physical Education Teaching Track major at The Citadel and is president of the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel.

Gage Russell is a Social Studies Education major at The Citadel and is Vice President of the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel.

Ashley Cannon teaches middle school students with learning differences at Charleston Charter School for Math and Science.

Mary Taylor is the Student Success Director at The Charleston Catholic School and works with K-8 students with learning differences.

Keyword Descriptors

Mentoring, learning differences, learning disabilities, AD/HD, transition, college partnerships, self-advocacy

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 2:15 PM

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Mar 6th, 1:00 PM Mar 6th, 2:15 PM

Working Together: Building K-12/College Mentor Partnerships to Support Students with Learning Differences

Vernon

In an interactive discussion with audience members, presenters will share ideas for developing positive mentor-mentee partnerships between K-12 schools and colleges; discuss the impact of two recently established mentor partnerships, as well as perspectives from college student mentors and K-12 teachers of student mentees with learning differences; collaboratively examine data to discuss potential program adaptations; and provide mentoring activities that audience members can utilize.