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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2023
Springbrook Partners with Syracuse University for InclusiveU Mentor Program
Syracuse, NY: Springbrook has partnered with Syracuse University to provide mentors for the InclusiveU program of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University. InclusiveU offers a comprehensive college experience for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including individualized coursework, professional internships, and social and extracurricular activities. Students select classes and participate in on-campus internships to gain marketable, transferable job skills.
Syracuse University students from all majors and disciplines can work with InclusiveU students as mentors, partnering for social events, academics, and other campus activities. Mentors provided by Springbrook will be matched with InclusiveU students for in-class support, which includes self-advocacy, support with class work, and communication; and navigating student life on campus, which includes engagement, organization, time management, exploring campus resources, dining on campus, accessing technology, attending events and clubs, and so much more.
InclusiveU has about 100 participants each year who choose from over 120 university programs and disciplines. Students audit one to three classes per semester and are given a certificate in their course of study when they have completed the program. Students can choose to live in off-campus housing or with family; they may also choose to live in on-campus housing. Further, InclusiveU has a built-in internship program for fourth-year students to learn job skills.
Director of InclusiveU, Brianna M. Shults, MSed, said, “The Taishoff Center is thrilled about the new partnership with Springbrook. Increasing the options available to our InclusiveU students for quality services during their time on campus is another way we can help them succeed in college and achieve their goals. We are looking forward to the collaboration between our organizations.”
The Springbrook Assistant Director of Community Services, Lila Balliett, said the partnership with the InclusiveU program at Syracuse University “provides a true college experience for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities; the mission of InclusiveU aligns perfectly with Springbrook’s mission of assisting people with disabilities achieve their dreams and live a robust and meaningful life. We at Springbrook are so excited to partner with InclusiveU and look forward to becoming a part of the fabric of the college community at Syracuse.”
InclusiveU was formed in 2014 and has supported non-matriculated students at Syracuse University since 2009 through its OnCampus partnership with the Syracuse City School District. Syracuse University is the country’s largest, most inclusive campus, serving over 100 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Springbrook provides at-home care, residential and educational services, day services, and clinical, therapeutic, and behavioral support to over 1,100 people with developmental disabilities across New York State. The organization is Otsego County’s third-largest employer, with more than 1,300 employees.