The Louisiana State University of Alexandria is currently developing a program that aims to bring hope to the lives of young people with developmental disabilities—by providing them with the resources and opportunities that will help them lead more independent lives and take up meaningful and rewarding employment in their communities.
The program will be open to young people between the ages of 18 and 28 who have an identified developmental disability; who have completed high school with a high-school diploma, career diploma, or equivalent; and are ineligible for regular college admission.
Students admitted to the program will “audit” some college-level classes; take special program classes designed to improve their daily living skills, interpersonal skills, and employment skills; participate in on-campus events and activities; and receive vocational training either on campus or at approved off-campus venues.
A Steering Committee has been charged by Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil with developing the program and planning its implementation. The committee has been meeting regularly for six months. Its members are listed below:
Dr. Eamon Halpin, Committee Chair, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Provost, LSUA
Dr. John Rowan, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, LSUA
Dr. Robert Wright, Professor of Psychology, LSUA, and Board Member of Louisiana Autism Center
Dr. Jon Haag, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Director of Louisiana Autism Center
Ms. Lakeshia Williams, Director of LSUA Continuing Education and Community Outreach
Mr. Daniel Manuel, Coordinator of Disability Services, LSUA
Mrs. Penny Smith, Parent and Community Member
Mrs. Melva Villard, Parent and Community Member
“While three programs of this kind already exist on four-year college campuses south of I-10, there is a strong need for a similar program in Central Louisiana. If LSUA offered such a program, students in the area would have only a short commute during the school week and not be required to live away from home,” said Committee Chair, Dr. Eamon Halpin.
An open meeting of interested parents and community members will take place from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, August 4, in the Coughlin Hall Auditorium (Nursing Building) on the LSUA Campus. If you are interested in learning more about the program or supporting it, please attend.