UGS 110: First-Year Seminar Focused on Starting Strong with Health, Wellness, and Resiliency

Beginning fall 2018, a first-year seminar titled Maximize Ability and Resiliency at MSU is offered by Team RCPD as a special 11-week UGS 110 course. In this first-year seminar, students will begin to draw upon the creativity and commitment of the MSU community to maximize their abilities and develop strategies and techniques for addressing their disabilities. In the context of a small, interactive class, students will explore ways to build resiliency, establish and maintain healthy habits, expand their connections to the MSU community, and identify resources and support systems they will use to succeed at MSU and beyond. The transition from high school to college can be challenging and intimidating, which causes many students to overlook the abilities they possess.

Course Topics Include:

  • Nutritional Wellness
  • Financial & Career Planning
  • Emotional Wellness
  • Academic Success Strategies

UGS 110 is a great way to make new friends and build connections to the MSU community!

Students and instructors pose for a group photo in front of the classroom.

How do I enroll in UGS 110?

Search for UGS 110 on the MSU Schedule of Courses to learn more or enroll. You can also talk with your RCPD specialist or academic advisor.

When is UGS 110 offered?

UGS 110 courses are offered every year in the fall semester. For Fall 2019 RCPD's UGS 110 course is scheduled to start Tuesday, September 10th continuing weekly until November 20th at 3:00pm-4:20pm.
 

 

 

Edith Moore Squires Vision & Resilience

Edith Moore Squires was a lifetime Spartan, special education teacher and fierce advocate for students with disabilities.  She strived to create accessibility that would allow students to build capacity and she embraced, celebrated and promoted human adaptability. 

The Edith Moore Squires Endowment provides funding to expand and promote ability and help students envision their highest potential.  Funding from the program and new staffing from the Gilbert family are leading new programming in the areas of health, wellness and resiliency including a new 1-credit course for first year students, intent on starting strong at MSU. 

What is Resiliency?

Resilience is defined as the capacity to bounce back from stress and adversity. Practicing resilient habits and behaviors creates a process of effective problem solving, positive coping skills, and an ability to move forward when faced with difficult circumstances. Resiliency is an important trait that everyone possesses in different ways. It is developed through experience, learning, and practice; everyone can benefit from increased resiliency!

Why Should I Be Thinking About Resiliency?

College students in general including students with disabilities are constantly faced with new, and often stressful, situations. Academic pressures, unfamiliar living situations, and developing new relationships can create stress and impact health and wellness during the college years. Increasing resiliency can help EVERYONE to maximize their ability and increase success at MSU and beyond.

How Do I Grow Resiliency?

There are many ways to develop resiliency! See the resources below to start learning how to increase your own resilient habits:

  • Start strong at State: Beginning fall 2018, a first-year seminar entitled Maximize Ability and Resiliency at MSU is offered by Team RCPD as a special 11-week UGS110 course. The course begins a couple weeks into the semester to facilitate enrollment even after arrival at MSU. Search for UGS110 to learn more or schedule for section 316. The transition from high school to college can be challenging and intimidating, which causes many students to overlook the abilities they possess.

    In this first-year seminar, students will begin to draw upon the creativity and commitment of the MSU community to maximize their abilities and develop strategies and techniques for addressing their disabilities. In the context of a small, interactive class, students will explore ways to build resiliency, establish and maintain healthy habits, expand their connections to the MSU community, and identify resources and support systems they will use to succeed at MSU and beyond.
     
  • Welcoming your ideas and input on resiliency – If you have an idea or would like to propose a program around vision and resiliency at MSU, please share your ideas with Kelsey Foote or your RCPD Ability Access Specialist.
Ability & Resiliency at MSU Articles/Websites

APA: The Road to Resilience

Angela Lee Duckworth Grit

“Finding Strength In Resiliency” (MSU Extension)

To Handle Increased Stress, Build Your Resilience

UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine:

Self-Surveys:

TED Talks:

Campus Resources

The Michigan State University Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) provides students and employees with individualized services to create accessibility and support success in the classroom and workplace. MSU students and employees can begin registration with the RCPD to determine eligibility for accommodations and other services.

Wochholz Endowment for Persons with Disabilities

Harold F. and Phyllis N. Wochholz established this endowment to provide the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) with a source of funding to market MSU as a university with an exceptional and sustained record of success in meeting the needs of persons with disabilities. Harold, a 1958 graduate of the College of Engineering and RCPD 2007 Outstanding Alumnus, identifies MSU's accessible facilities as instrumental to the attainment of his engineering degrees and to his success as an engineer and leader within a major aerospace corporation. Employing a passion to involve today’s students with disabilities in a similarly life-changing experience, Wochholz family generosity helps youth connect with vibrant futures via a quality MSU education. In recent years Project Venture has extended MSU visibility by welcoming high school students to an immersive, multi-day pre-college orientation. 

Together with the College of Engineering, the RCPD will develop a continuous promotional program that will encourage future students with a disability to consider MSU as their choice for higher education. The RCPD encourages future students with a disability to engage the possibilities and lifetime rewards associated with higher education. 

Hal and Phyllis Wochholz join the RCPD in a visit to the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona, to speak on opportunities for students with disabilities.

"I think back to the summer of 1955 when I could just barely get around on crutches, didn't have a formal education and needed a safe/nice place for my family, and MSU was there for us!"

-Hal Wochholz

"We sincerely hope that others will join us in supporting RCPD and establishing MSU as a university that extends excellence to human needs as well as education."

-Hal & Phyllis Wochholz

This donor-supported program provides awareness and expanded opportunity for persons with disabilities. You can help support this initiative or find out more about other RCPD programs and donation opportunities by visiting the Make a Gift page.

Welcome Orientation Workshop

The Welcome Orientation Workshop (WOW) is a program for incoming students with disabilities, hosted by the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. This event takes place during welcome week and introduces students to the resources available during their time at MSU. The program offers participants a chance to get to know the RCPD staff, programming, and other students with disabilities. New Spartans leave the workshop with strategies for success and confidence to arrange accommodations with their professors through effective communication. 

The workshop ensures Spartans have the tools they need for a productive start to the school year. It also assures that each student meets their individual Ability Access Specialists prior to the start of classes. Students learn about accommodations and gain practical perspectives through Q&A panels with current MSU faculty and students. 

WOW is sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union. We thank them for their support of this signature program!

"The WOW seminar was a greatly informative meeting, I learned a lot about the resources provided and the benefits of being a part of RCPD.  One of the greatest things I got out of it was the sense of security...I left the meeting with a strong sense of pride to say I was a member of RCPD; whereas a few years ago, my pride is what kept me from asking for the help I did need. For this, I thank you very much as I feel much more confident in my academic performance and also in communicating with the faculty..."

-MSU RCPD student

Students newly registered with the RCPD need to RSVP for WOW. The RSVP form becomes available in mid-July each year.

Stern Tutoring and Alternative Techniques for Education (STATE) Program

Generously funded by Mickey and Debbie Stern, the Stern Tutoring and Alternative Techniques for Education (STATE) endowment began providing innovative and important assistance for MSU students with learning disabilities in the spring of 2004. The program provides a structured environment, effective learning strategies, academic tutoring, and other academic support.  STATE provides disability-specific instructional, tutorial, and peer mentoring components as well as strategies for academic success. 

Seminar (Constructing Success: Foundations and Bridges)

The heart of the STATE Program is an instructional seminar on successful learning strategies and harnessing support services for lifelong impact. STATE participants develop awareness, acceptance, critical thinking skills, and positive study habits necessary for academic excellence. Dynamic MSU academic specialists facilitate a personalized experience that fosters growth and achievement of goals. Regular meetings with program staff occur throughout the semester, creating opportunities to evaluate the efficacy of new academic techniques and to integrate all components of the program.

Tutoring

Another important piece of the STATE Program offers students individual tutoring in the course he or she identifies as the most challenging. Students are also empowered to meet with their professors directly.  

Peer Mentoring

The STATE Program also includes peer mentoring. Each STATE participant is grouped into a team which is supported by each of the peer mentors. These mentors are students registered with RCPD who demonstrate academic success despite having a learning disability. Mentors attend each session of the seminar and are available to the STATE participants throughout the semester. This relationship assists in adapting and implementing seminar ideas to fit individual needs and experiences. Peer mentors are trained to build on students' knowledge while introducing new resources. STATE Program students may later become peer mentors, an experience that will further develop leadership skills.

Assistive Technology

Program participants are introduced to various assistive technologies, such as Kurzweil 3000, Dragon Dictate, and electronic books. Individual assessments for appropriate assistive technologies are available through the Assistive Technology Specialist or the Assistive Technology Trainer. Students receive instruction in the use and application of assistive technologies that improve reading and writing performance.

The STATE program expands study strategies to facilitate academic success at the collegiate level. Students also learn behaviors and attitudes which further educational and life goals. Participants are registered with a documented learning disability, have struggled academically, and display strong motivation to improve their academic achievement by adopting new techniques. Each semester 15-20 students are accepted and participants attend weekly seminar and mentor meetings. Additional expectations for STATE participants include utilizing all appropriate support resources available and applying the principles and strategies suggested to their own learning. For more information, contact your Ability Access Specialist.

STATE Program in Action

The STATE Program oral history clip presentation demonstrates the work the program achieves through the words of actual instructors, mentors and participants.

This donor-supported program provides awareness and expanded opportunity for persons with disabilities. You can help support this initiative or find out more about other RCPD programs and giving opportunities by visiting the Make a Gift page.

Project Venture

As a student with a disability, considering college comes with a mix of excitement and uncertainty. RCPD invites you to join us for a unique on-campus, pre-college experience. Project Venture offers the chance to “try on” university life through an interactive experience here at MSU. RCPD hosts the Project Venture program thanks to the generous contributions of the Wochholz Endowment, which encourages students with disabilities to pursue higher education at an inclusive university such as MSU.

At Project Venture you will:

  • Talk directly with current MSU students with disabilities who have “been there” and understand the journey
  • Consult with university disability specialists to gain skills for college
  • Experience the latest assistive technology through breakout sessions
  • Attend a college class, stay overnight, and connect with other high school students with disabilities 
  • Become aware of self-advocacy skills and resources for a successful transition to higher education

Please take note that the program fills quickly. The application system will close after 50 applications have been submitted. 20 participants will be accepted based on the quality of the submissions.

Who can apply?

College-bound high school students between the ages of 16-18 who have a disability. We accept students with a range of disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Blindness/Visual impairment, Brain Injury, Chronic Health, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit, Mobility Disability, and Psychiatric Disabilities.

When is Project Venture?

June 23-26, 2019. The program is filled for the 2019 session. Check back for 2020 information! 

Where do I stay? What do I eat?

Participants will stay overnight in an accessible residence hall with a fellow student in the program. Participants will also have the assistance and supervision of an RA for the entire duration of the program. All meals (Monday breakfast through Wednesday lunch) are included in the cost of the program. If you have food-related concerns, we will work with you along with our dining staff to meet your needs.

What do I do if I need accommodations?

Through the application and registration process, students will be able to fully explain accommodations necessary for full participation in the program. We are committed to providing a meaningful experience and will work actively to accommodate your needs.

Who do I contact with questions?

If you have any questions prior to or during the program please email the Project Venture Team or call the RCPD front office. Project Venture staff will be on hand through the duration of the program, and will provide daytime and overnight supervision at all times.

Apply to Project Venture

Please take note of the following before completing the application:

  1. This application must be completed by the student applicant.
  2. Participants will be selected based on the quality and thoroughness of their responses.
  3. Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email at the student address you listed in your application.
  4. We may contact the student or parent/guardian with questions in the review process.
  5. We typically accept 3-5 students from varied disability types (Autism Spectrum Disorders, Blindness/Visual Impairment, Brain Injury, Chronic Health Disabilities, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit, Mobility/Motoric Disabilities, and Psychiatric Disabilities); accepting 20 students total for the program.

The link to the 2020 Project Venture application will be updated here when it is available. 

Project Venture news and stories

College-Bound Students Discover Confidence at Project Venture Program
"When seventeen students and their families arrived at Armstrong hall on a Sunday afternoon in June, the air was full of excitement and a little uncertainty. After all, some of them had never been away from home before. Arms loaded with backpacks and pillows, the students checked in, said goodbye to their guardians, and then greeted each other with shy hellos. Just three days later, they would be saying goodbye with big hugs and laughter, exchanging phone numbers, having forged friendships through their shared experience that they would keep for years to come."

Fasting 5K and Project Venture: Paving the Pathway to College for Students with Disabilities
"If you’ve ever watched or participated in a 5K, you know how much hard work goes into crossing the finish line. Now imagine running that same race but without food or water all day. On May 18th, 113 runners in Canton, Michigan did just that at the Fasting 5K – to raise money for students with disabilities."

 

 

Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Fund

As the RCPD’s first programmatic endowment, we continue founding Director Judy Gentile’s values in ensuring people discover their highest abilities and come to know disability as a challenge and call for action rather than a state of being.

This fund seeks to empower, motivate and promote the success of students and employees with disabilities, and to educate, support and inspire those working with persons with disabilities.  Contributions to this fund advance innovations in:

  • Career and employment readiness
  • Leadership development
  • Assistive technology
  • Audiovisual educational material accessibility
  • Disability awareness

This donor-supported program provides awareness and expanded opportunity for persons with disabilities. You can help support this initiative or find out more about other RCPD programs and giving opportunities by visiting the Make a Gift page.

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