Success! A new High School Leader Transition Program is birthed
DreamCatchers NH partners with the Manchester School District and SNHU to help students with an IEP see that college is accessible
On Friday, November 30 at SNHU, over 30 students from all four Manchester High Schools who have an IEP came to visit SNHU campus through a DreamCatchers NH program that partnered with SNHU’s Chandler Center and Campus Accessibility office.
According to an article from Best Colleges, we know that students who have an IEP are less likely to have a college career and if they do they are less likely to graduate (Best Colleges, 2017) but they are by no means incapable of doing so.
“DreamCatchers NH focuses on community for anyone living with a disability. We want to be sure that high school students who might think college is out of reach because of a learning disability, know that there is a community of services for them,” said DreamCatchers Executive Director.
Throughout the day, high school students were stretched to meet new students from other schools through “ice breaker” activities in the beginning and group activities in the Campus Accessibility presentations. The concept of being part of their school community, their city community, and a college community were evident.
Students were given a tour of campus and later asked questions to a student panel that was made specifically of college students with an IEP or who could paint a real picture of how college is accessible.
Professors at SNHU and students from today’s panel all say that one of the biggest, if not the biggest fear as a freshman, is will I make any friends at college? Having a learning disability on top of it can make some feel more isolated and alone. This element was woven into the programming today as was the important of asking for what they need.
This was the first of hopefully more similar programs for high school students to benefit from as there is currently nothing offered like this for students with an IEP in Manchester and likely other cities or towns across NH.
Students responses through a survey said that they learned a lot from this program, would recommend it to a friend because there was a lot they didn't know.
“This has been a great partnership between the Manchester School District, DreamCatchers, and SNHU. Community is important to us and we live it by collaborating with other community organizations towards the same cause,” says DreamCatchers Executive Director.
If you’d like to see this kind of program in your area, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or donate to ensure DreamCatchers NH can continue this type of programming in the future at www.paypal.me/dreamcatchersnh.