Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

College of the Sequoias Instructional Role Model

Larry Dutto, Dean of Academic Services

larryd@cos.edu  or 559-730-3808

Target population: All students.

Goals: To demonstrate that high quality instruction can be delivered by an instructor who has a disability, and to provide a role model for students with disabilities as well as for all other students.

Description: When a talented, qualified, hearing impaired graphic arts instructor applied to teach at College of the Sequoias, the Dean of Academic Services realized it was an opportunity to provide a special population role model on campus. The hearing impaired instructor was hired to teach Graphic Arts 159, Introduction to Photoshop, as part of the standard industrial technology curriculum. Two sign language interpreters were hired to translate signed instructions to the students, and students' responses and questions to the instructor.

Staffing: The instructor is assisted by the two interpreters.

Facilities, equipment, materials: No unique facilities, equipment, or materials are required.

Costs, funding source: The instructor is paid as an adjunct professor and the two sign language interpreters are paid out of VTEA funding.

Outreach and marketing: Initially there was an effort to reach out to deaf students on campus to encourage them to enroll in the class. Several have enrolled, but the majority of students are from the general student population. The program has received community support and an article on the instructor and his program was published in the local newspaper.

Evidence of effectiveness: The instructor has been well received and retention is high.

Suggestions for replication: Hire qualified instructors from special population groups to serve as role models whenever possible! They not only inspire students from the same special population group, but also break down barriers and stereotypes for all other individuals.