Learning support specialist maintained
The university and DSU commit funds
Ryan McNutt - July 12, 2011
Dalhousie’s learning support specialist will remain in place at the university.
The position provides assistance in the identification of a learning disability or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD), and provides learning strategies to those students identified as having an LD/ADHD. Earlier this year it was announced that, as a cost-saving measure, the position’s contract with Counselling and Psychological Services would not be renewed.
Following a passionate response from the Dalhousie community, a financial partnership has been struck between the Dalhousie Student Union and the President’s Office that will commit funds to support the position.
“Our funding reduction presented us with many difficult choices, of which this was one, but we’re pleased that we’ve managed to come to a solution to ensure those affected students will continue to receive this assistance,” says Bonnie Neuman, vice-president of Student Services. “We’ve responded to the strength of the arguments made by our students, student leaders, personal counsellors and accommodations and accessibility staff regarding the needs of Dalhousie students for additional learning support.
“We want the best for the students and their families and we're hopeful the solution we've found will ensure they receive all the assistance they require in the future.”
In addition to maintaining the existing service—presently used by up to 90 Dalhousie students—the university is also establishing a pilot bursary program to assist students in acquiring the financial resources for external referrals. The Counselling Centre will also look to collaborate with psychologists in the community regarding external consultations for Dalhousie students with extensive support needs.
“I’m very pleased that the DSU was able to work with the university administration to ensure that students would continue to receive this learning support through Student Services,” says Chris Saulnier, DSU president. “This is a necessary service for many students at Dalhousie and we are thrilled to be a key partner in ensuring that it continues to be provided.
“As the Provincial Government has reduced funding to universities it is necessary more than ever for students, staff, faculty, alumni and administration to work together in order to find creative solutions to our collective problems. While challenging, there are tremendous opportunities available to Dalhousie through collaboration between members of our community.”
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