March 25, 2016

At Their Own Pace: Special Education Students Navigating a Middle Early College High School Program

For more than a decade, Middle Early College High School in Buffalo, New York, has been making a difference for first-generation, minority and under-prepared students. The challenges that students with special needs face in an early College environment not only include catching up academically for success, but also frequently changing classroom settings on a regular basis, like you might experience on a college campus.

Change is a constant at Middle Early College High School. With student supports in place, that change doesn’t hold anyone back.

How does Middle Early College High School make sure that their students with special needs succeed right alongside their peers?

  • The school’s district, Buffalo Public Schools, has provided the staff supports for success.
  • The college partner has also become an integral part of the process to ensure that there is a communication plan between the school and college.
  • The district has a Special Education Parent Advisory Committee dedicated to supporting families, coordinating services and offering input to the district.

Some of the challenges the early college has overcome include making sure students who need one have an aid in the college classroom for taking notes. They also make sure that IEPs are met both in high school and college classrooms. The close relationships between teachers and aides and their students means support and encouragement for each student.

As each student’s education progresses, they begin to look at career options and internships. Graduating at their pace, special needs students can pursue their dreams and aspirations alongside their peers at Middle Early College High School.

The dedicated staff at Middle Early College High School are making sure that truly all students have the potential to earn a college degree.

Chuck Pollington

Written by: Chuck Pollington

Chuck Pollington is the Director of Business Development for KnowledgeWorks.

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