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Muhlenberg College Receives $500,000 Appropriation To Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive Quality Higher Education

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (January 12, 2001) - Muhlenberg College has received $500,000 appropriation to expand upon its proven track record of enrolling, graduation, and placing talented students who learn differently in competitive jobs or graduate school. Muhlenberg was notified of the appropriation by the office of Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chair of the Health, Human Services, Education and Labor subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The appropriation will expand upon Muhlenberg's national education training model serving higher education students with learning disabilities, particularly those disabilities that require cognitive intervention. Funding will support the expansion of a successful peer learning assistant program in high-risk classes, faculty and manager professional development, a summer institute, and training in the use of useful and educational technology. Employers and graduate schools will become integral partners.

"This is just another example of the great representation Pennsylvanians can be proud of," said Muhlenberg College President Arthur R. Taylor. "I commend Senator Specter for representing his constituents in Pennsylvania and for being a strong leader for higher education nationally." Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) also supported this effort which will encourage better educational methods, benefiting students far beyond Muhlenberg's doors.

In 1999, more than 100,000 students diagnosed with learning disabilities enrolled in the post secondary training. Research indicates that not more than 37 percent succeed in completing the bachelor degree requirements. Furthermore, when students with disabilities do attend four-year degree granting institutions, they are less likely than their non-disabled peers to persist in disciplines leading to competitive, professional careers in physics, math, and sciences. For the past twelve years, Muhlenberg has documented success in graduating learning disabled students in each of these disciplines.

Muhlenberg has graduated greater than 85 percent of its students with disabilities in every year for the past 5 years and many have gone on to perform successfully in competitive graduate and professional schools, including medicine and law. "This is a community that embraces difference and supports all students by making learning experiences varied, personal, dynamic, and accessible to today's diverse learner," says Wendy Cole, Academic Support Services Director.

Released
January 12, 2001

For more information, contact
Michael Bruckner 484-664-3230

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