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April 17, 2018

Shelby County students with special needs soar in UM’s Falcon Flight Program

Thanks to a new collaboration between UM and Shelby County Schools, five students with special needs students have started an academic journey at UM that, a year ago, wouldn’t have been possible.

The collaborative program, called Falcon Flight, allows Shelby County students with learning disabilities to attend classes at UM and learn essential life and jobs skills that will allow them to continue their journey into adulthood after finishing high school.

Dr. Hollie Cost, UM professor and mayor of the city of Montevallo, has been a longtime champion of the project.

“While they are not students who would typically be enrolled in a university program, they are able to experience a variety of different aspects of university life. I’m confident that our university students will gain as much from having the Falcon Flight students on campus as Falcon Flight students will gain from their interactions with them,” said Cost.

To lead the program, Shelby County Schools recruited Shari Deason as director, along with job coach Tina Smith and student assistant Joy Howell. Deason spent months attending conferences and visiting similar programs at other universities to prepare for Falcon Flight.

“It’s really something beautiful,” said Deason. “For a lot of students with a significant disability, once they get to their 12th grade year, everybody else graduates and goes off to college, and they are often left behind. We’re so excited Montevallo has opened the doors for our kids.”

While at UM, the students will practice personal financial literacy, learn basic lessons in technology, participate in internships with local businesses around town and have the chance to live the lifestyle of a typical college student.

All Falcon Flight students will be allowed to return to the program until the age of 21, meaning about two years per student.

The goal is that these incremental lessons will give the students the tools they need to realize whatever big dreams they may have down the road. According to Deason, her students are interested in everything from art, to high end sneakers to turf management.

Deason said that although the students’ disabilities vary in severity and type, they all share a common pride in being able to call themselves true college students.

Press ReleasesJuly 9, 2018

Outdoor Scholars Program debuts first episode of Outdoor Scholars TV

The President’s Outdoor Scholars Program at the University of Montevallo is now sharing its special hunting and fishing trips with the rest of the world via its new YouTube series, “Outdoor Scholars TV.”  The show’s first season will consist of 10 episodes running just under 10 minutes each. The first episode, released on July 1, is the longest at 14 minutes and follows the Outdoor Scholars […]

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Press ReleasesJune 19, 2018

Montevallo honored among National Colleges of Distinction 2018-2019

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Montevallo has been recognized as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. It continues to be one of only two schools in Alabama marked with the Public College of Distinction achievement.   UM has proven itself to be at the forefront of American higher education with a modern, student-centered approach to teaching. “We are very pleased […]

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Press ReleasesJune 11, 2018

UM Concert Choir completes international concert tour of United Kingdom and France

The UM Concert Choir performed in a variety of prestigious locations across the United Kingdom and France as part of their second international concert tour, May 12-23.   Twenty-seven students, along with conductor Melinda Doyle, featured faculty soloist Roderick George and faculty documentarian Becky Halliday, performed in seven venues over 11 total days, including the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and King’s College in Cambridge.  “Traveling is one of the […]

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