RACC Hosts Local High School Students with Disabilities for Transition Academy

February 28, 2011, Reading, PA

Reading Area Community College (RACC) today welcomed 13 area high school students for Transition Academy, a county-wide initiative developed for helping students with disabilities be better prepared for the transition to college.

High school students spent the day on campus learning from RACC staff and current students with disabilities. Information sessions focused on Advocacy and Accommodations in College, and Making Technology Work For You. The academy also included a student panel where RACC students shared their strategies for achieving success in college.

“This academy is a direct effort to see how we can help ease their transition to college,” said Kym Kleinsmith, a member of the College’s Disability Services staff who organized the event. “It’s very purpose-driven and you see the benefits in raising their awareness of disability services and support.”

After the opening sessions, visiting students were paired with a student mentor to attend an actual RACC class. The day then concluded with a simulated Sociology class taught by faculty member Danelle Bower. Prior to the class, students were given articles to read so they could participate in group work and class discussion.

“You don’t know how many of the students might be first generation college students, so the idea might be overwhelming,” said Bower. “This is a great way to give them a taste of a college class in a non-threatening way.”
High school teachers also had a chance to learn as they talked with RACC faculty on how to help prepare students for the increased demands of college coursework.

Students from Exeter, Twin Valley and Wyomissing participated in the academy at RACC.