Inaugural Class of Kinney SCHOLAR Apprentices Set to Graduate

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

by Elizabeth Krotoulis ’17

This spring, the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support will graduate its first class of apprentice SCHOLARS, who began working at the Kinney Center the summer prior to their first semester at SJU.

The SCHOLAR Apprentice Program gives students interested in pursuing autism studies a head start. Apprentices begin working with the Kinney Center the summer before their freshman year, staffing Camp Kinney while also completing required coursework.

Kathleen Rodgers ’16, an elementary and special education major from Media, Pennsylvania, with minors in autism studies and faith justice studies, has participated in the SCHOLARS program longer than any other student. While in high school, she received an email from Kinney inviting students to volunteer as peer mentors in its social skills program. At the time, Rodgers was seeking experience in the special education field, and she took the opportunity to volunteer at Kinney before graduating high school. She recognizes how her early start at Kinney as an apprentice has helped her gain insight into the special education field she will soon enter after her SJU graduation.

“The different teaching strategies and behavioral management techniques we use at Kinney can be implemented in any elementary or special education classroom,” says Rodgers. “The training and skill set I have developed over the past four and a half years will be invaluable for my future career path.”

Another member of the apprentice SCHOLARS graduating class is Chrissy Miseo ’16, a triple major in elementary education, special education and autism behavioral studies from Marlboro, New Jersey. Miseo was accepted to several Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) master’s degree programs nationwide, and will continue her education at Florida State University, the top ABA program in the country.

“Participating in the apprentice program drew a path for my future,” says Miseo. “It showed me where I grew the most and where I want to continue growing in my education. I’ve learned something new every day at Kinney, and now I never want to stop.”

Rodgers and Miseo are joined by 10 other apprentice SCHOLARS in the inaugural graduating class.

The apprentice program accepts 12 to 15 students committed to SJU to participate each summer. Since its inception, the program has introduced 50 students to the Kinney Center prior to their freshman year at SJU.

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