PIQUA – With a $50,000 grant from The Ohio State University, Edison State Community College has been afforded the opportunity to provide post-secondary education options to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities through the EAGLE Program.
Students of the EAGLE Program are supported through interactive career assessments, academically inclusive courses with Edison State students, supplemental and life skills courses, peer tutors and mentors, internships, and financial assistance to those who qualify.
With the goals of the EAGLE Program in mind, Edison State Community College has hired Ashley Homan, of Houston, as director.
“This is a great program because it allows students with disabilities the opportunity to attend college,” Homan said. “They take general education classes, as well as a few classes based on their interests, to complete a certificate. Once they complete the program, they will have the opportunity to walk at graduation just like every other Edison State student.”
Homan, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University, brings more than a decade of experience to the table, most recently working as a service and support administrator at the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities. In that role, Homan was charged with coordinating services for adults with disabilities.
“I am still working with individuals with disabilities, which is what I love,” Homan said. “It is nice to be able to place more focus on one area of the person’s life, which is taking college courses and pursuing their dreams. Becoming a college student is something they are excited to do.”
Homan’s hopes for the future of the program not only include helping students achieve success in the workforce but also sustaining program growth.
“We are piloting this semester with two students,” Homan said. “One student is interested in biology and the other is showing interest in animation and has been taking art courses.
“I am hoping to potentially get Edison State students involved in the future to become social coaches for the EAGLE program participants. It would be nice to have students who were willing to step in and attend campus functions with the participants.”
The grant is supplemented by funds from the Miami, Darke and Shelby county boards of developmental disabilities and Edison State Community College.
“I have done a lot of outreach with the county boards,” Homan said. “They are familiar with the program and can help us make the connections needed for this program to succeed.”
Edison State Community College serves as one of eight post-secondary program hosts in Ohio to have such a program. Other program hosts include The Ohio State University, the University of Toledo and the University of Cincinnati to name a few.
For more information about the EAGLE Program at Edison State, contact Homan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 937-778-7995.