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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 ReleasesApril 19, 2018

Forte Festival offers weekend of lectures, performances and creativity

On the weekend of April 19-21, the University of Montevallo campus will host a multitude of workshops, lectures and performances as part of the annual Forte Festival of Creativity. The interdisciplinary collaboration is co-hosted by the UM College of Fine Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Montevallo Arts Council. Media sponsors include the Shelby County Reporter, […]

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Press ReleasesApril 17, 2018

UM Warrior Challenge to offer obstacle course & family fun to benefit Arc of Shelby County

The Warrior Challenge, a 1-mile obstacle fun run, will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Montevallo Disc Golf Course, located near the McChesney Student Activity Center. The Warrior Challenge was created in 2017 by UM professor Aimee Mellon and her students as a family-friendly event […]

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Press ReleasesApril 17, 2018

Marcus Moore named 2017-18 UM Student Employee of the Year

Senior communication studies major Marcus Moore was recently honored with the University of Montevallo Student Employee of the Year Award.  This annual recognition is given by the UM Office of Student Employment and UM’s Chapter of the National Alumni Association (UMNAA) to one UM student employee who exhibits outstanding commitment and dedication to their position.  Moore currently serves the Admissions Office as lead maven, providing […]

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