In the fall of 2014, the Special Education Department at Silver Lake College will launch a community-based, non-teaching major in Cognitive Disabilities to prepare future graduates to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities outside of the school setting in inclusive, community-based living and working options.
There is an increasing number of organizations and services being developed, and the need for qualified personnel with special education knowledge and skills coupled with business or family services skills is growing. This new focus is in addition to their current CD major, which prepares students to teach students with cognitive disabilities in the school environment.
On May 30, Silver Lake College special education faculty and community organization leaders held a Collaborative Partnership Meeting to get feedback from area organizations and agencies regarding employment expectations and possibilities for graduates as well as identify potential field experiences and internship possibilities for students in the program.
Among those in attendance at the meeting were Steve Hendriske and Sue Kuechenmeister from TLC Homes (Tradition, Leadership & Compassion); Tom Keil from Holiday House of Manitowoc County Inc.; Nancy Randolph and Lisa Reindl from Manitowoc County Human Services; Dr. Todd Eiden and Cheryl Suchocki from Phoenix Behavioral Health; Judy Rank from the Aging and Disability Resource Center; Karen Schultz from Homes for Independent Living; Jan Algozine, Director of Experiential Learning at Silver Lake College; and the following Silver Lake College Special Education faculty members, Sister Mary Karen Oudeans, PhD, Chair Special Education Programs; Jan Sinor, Coordinator of Program in Cognitive Disabilities; Mary Petersen and Sr. Rosalyn Muraski, Coordinators of Program in Learning Disabilities, Nancy Sim, Coordinator of Early Childhood Special Education Program, and Dawn LeLou-Matte, adjunct instructor in special education.