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Posts by Cameron Patterson
On October 12th I had the opportunity to present alongside Dana Kieran, Associate Director for Disability Resources and Dr. Lauren Wynn Assistant Professor for Counselor Education at the Virginia School Counselor’s Conference. It was a great experience to present as it was a goal of mine prior to graduating from my program.
Our presentation focused on how school counselors and disability service providers can collaborate to assist students with their transition to the post secondary environment. For our presentation we started out with an activity that helped individuals think of barriers to the postsecondary environment that might exist for students with disabilities. We then began to talk about the challenges that students face in their new academic environment along with the changes to various relationships that they might have had previously.
The main portion of our presentation that really created conversation amongst the counseling professionals in the room was an explanation of the differences between the secondary and postsecondary environments when accommodating students with disabilities. And then we ended with a conversation about what it means for students to be college ready. This presentation proved to be a great learning experience for me and my colleagues. I believe that we began a very substantive conversation about how we can better prepare students for a postsecondary transition. Also professionally it was great to network with various folks in the field. I was able to receive a few invitations to do some follow-up presentations for various school systems and non-profit groups.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to use what I have been learning in the classroom and combine it with the work that I’m currently doing in my role with Disability Resources. Thanks Graduate Studies for the opportunity.
I attended the Supporting Diverse Gender Youth training at Lynchburg College. This training was sponsored by the Virginia Counseling Association. The facilitator was Dr. Laura Farmer, Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and the President of the VA-ALGBTIC which is a sub group of the Virginia Counseling Association. Dr. Farmer teaches ethics courses at Virginia Tech so she made that the foundation of the training that she presented. The training featured faculty members, graduate students, community providers, and school counselors. The training allowed us to look at gender issues from a number of different elements. We first focused on laying the foundation. In laying the foundation Dr. Farmer made sure that we all had a base understanding of gender related terminology. We each were given a sheet and encouraged to get into groups to link definitions to various terms. With this activity even seasoned professionals had their struggles. It made me realize that no matter how long we spend in the profession there is always room to learn and better ourselves. Next we talked about the areas of competence that we would need as professionals in our work with gender diverse students. The final elements that helped to tie things together included a discussion of best practices, ethical considerations, and ways in which we can improve our school and work environments. This was the most beneficial element of the day as it allowed many folks in the room to share experiences specific to their work environment.