The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities is pleased to work with Mickey and Debbie Stern to provide a new tutoring resource for MSU students with a learning disability.
The Sterns, who are making a four year gift that will run the program in perpetuity, are generously funding the new program entitled the Stern Tutoring Alternative Techniques for Education (STATE). This is the largest gift ever received by RCPD.
The Sterns believe that the most profitable investment and the one that perhaps brings the greatest return, the highest honor, and the most powerful sense of accomplishment is the investment of charity. Supporting students at RCPD and giving them the confidence to succeed is of great importance to the Stern family.
The program is designed to provide a structured environment, effective learning strategies, academic tutoring and other forms of academic support. This program pushes past traditional accommodation concepts and provides new disability-specific instructional, tutorial, and peer mentoring components. It is a breakthrough development for students with learning disabilities, which will further enhance RCPD's position as a state and national leader in services for students with a range of disabilities.
Learning Disabilities Specialist Valerie Nilson says, "The Stern Tutoring and Alternative Techniques for Education holds the promise of assisting students with learning disabilities who have previously had difficulty achieving academic success. If a student is motivated to change, to try new strategies, to utilize support systems at MSU, to employ appropriate assistive technologies, it is highly likely that the STATE program will be of great benefit to their academic career at MSU. We are very grateful to the Stern family for providing the financial support to endow this program."
A student in the STATE program will complete a seminar on successful learning strategies, receive two hours per week of course content tutoring for a course for which tutors are not already available, participate in peer mentoring, and be trained in the use of assistive technologies to help them fulfill reading and writing assignments. In addition, the student will meet individually with a professional learning specialist. STATE will begin in spring 2004 with fifteen student participants.
"I'm so excited to be a part of the STATE program", remarks Learning Disabilities Specialist Elaine High. "The students involved should experience academic success that they may not otherwise feel. The learning strategies, academic tutoring, and mentoring that will be provided will help build their confidence to complete their education."
Director of RCPD, Michael Hudson is also excited about the possibilities the STATE program holds. "STATE will really propel us forward in quantity and quality programs for students with learning disabilities. Students with learning disabilities represent over half of the over 850 students registered with RCPD. As learning disabilities are generally invisible, many try to hide or deny the disability only to realize later that they may have underestimated other skills and strengths as they work to hide their disability. This program will promote academic achievement, improved self-concept, and recognition of ability."