Access Thy Academic Center

calendar on iPad

One of my main focuses as the TOPS Academic Coordinator has been to help establish the Academic Center as an openly available resource for students who might need designated time to work on school- or work-related tasks. Over the past year, the Academic Center has moved from a tiny room to our new hub of academic success in McCampbell Hall Room 251, complete with computers, a chalkboard, and other helpful resources. We have also added evening hours for students who may have busy daytime schedules.

One of our most valuable resources available in the Academic Center is our team of volunteer tutors. This semester, with a group of 20+ tutors, there is always someone to help students with tasks such as reading textbooks, prompting ideas for papers or reflections, and getting into the habit of making sure all assignments are completed. Tutors have also helped to practice speeches, assist in making notecards for an upcoming exam, and to help recall information for a class.

There is always something that a student can work on in the Academic Center! For example:

  • Practice answering interview questions
  • Check the course syllabus to see what events/assignments are coming up
  • Review previously read chapters in the textbook to check understanding
  • Work on assignments for the SLC courses
  • Edit resume
  • Plan social events for the TOPS Social Calendar
  • Research fun and engaging community service ideas
  • Find OSU student clubs and organizations that may be of interest
  • AND, it never hurts to get ahead in schoolwork!

I highly encourage students to challenge themselves to complete some of the above activities to make sure that they use their Academic Center time productively! A student can and should take advantage of the tutoring center even if it’s not during a time when he or she is scheduled to be there. I am very proud to see that attendance in the Academic Center has become more and more consistent, which tells me that students are taking charge of their own academic success!

Still not sure when the Academic Center is open? Here is the schedule for your reference:

  • MONDAY: 10:00am – 2:30pm; 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • TUESDAY: 10:00am – 2:30pm; 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • WEDNESDAY: 10:00am – 2:30pm
  • THURSDAY: 10:00am – 2:30pm
  • FRIDAY: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • WEEKEND: closed

Independent Living Updates (Feb 16)

I have prepared some updates for you from the Independent Living area!

For Students

Community Enrichment

As a way to get involved and serve in the community, all TOPS students are required to complete 15 hour of community service.  A wonderful opportunity that is coming up is the TOPS community service day, which will take place on April 29th, 8am-1pm. If you are interested, please RSVP by April 1st to Steve Varga, Social Coordinator.

Stay tuned for other community service opportunities!

Social Engagement

In addition to the weekly group outings, this semester we are pairing each TOPS student with one or two social coaches.  This will allow each of you to participate in activities you are interested in that fit your schedule, as well as to interact around campus just like how other OSU students would!

For Parents

Independent Living

Now is the time to start thinking about roommates and living arrangements for the next academic year!  Please plan to attend our parent training on March 23rd at 6 pm. We will highlight University Village and discuss some other options that may be available on Campus.

Please RSVP by March 20th, to Shannon Prince, Independent Living Coordinator.

Student Spotlight – Jack

Jack at Schoenbaum

This month we are spotlighting Jack. Jack is a second year student in the TOPS program. His original career focus was childcare but he is now revisiting that for a new career path to be determined.

Jack currently works at the Schoenbaum Family Center as a classroom assistant. He has a natural knack for engaging with the students. He will be missed when he starts his new internship in the Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Center.

Jack is taking Crossing Boundaries: A Journey towards Intercultural Leadership and Identity Development this semester. Although this is not his favorite course he has taken at OSU, he believes it will be a great course for students who want to challenge their leadership abilities and better understand their disability as it relates to their identity.

Jack is taking full advantage of the resources at OSU. He has been very active with the social program, participating in the basketball game watch at BW3’s, attending the Americans with Disabilities Act Seminar with OSU senior leadership and of course attending the movies.  Jack even got up really early on his day off to volunteer his time during OSU’s MLK Day of Service.

Think College @ the 2016 OSU Multiple Perspectives Conference

The Multiple Perspectives Conference is an ongoing exploration of disability, a conversation including many voices and reflecting perspectives gained through experience and research; theory and practice; arts and sciences.

I am very excited to announce that Think College will join Multiple Perspectives this year, featuring faculty, staff and students from the TOPS Program. Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability.

I would like to highlight 2 sessions in particular:

  • Michael Kranak, LEND Trainee, will present in the session titled “Using Technology Supports to Enhance Employment Outcomes for Postsecondary Students.” The session will discuss  how technological supports, such as video prompts, models and apps, can enhance and lead to better postsecondary employment outcomes for students with IDD.
  • Dr. Diana Clouse, Interim Director of University of Cincinnati’s Transition and Access Program (TAP), will present a session titled “Supporting Social Competence and Dignity of Risk with Adults with Intellectual Disability in Post-Secondary Education.” The session will discuss the components of TAP, the successes and challenges involved in supporting social competence in a postsecondary education (PSE) residential setting, and potential evidence-based tools that can be utilized by other PSE programs.

The Multiple Perspectives Conference will take place from April 13th to April 14th at the OSU Blackwell Inn & Pfahl Conference Center. The Think College track will take place on the first day (4/13), and there is a $60 single-day attendance fee for non-OSU persons, including lunch! I strongly encourage you to consider attending this very exciting opportunity, and perhaps invite a friend or two.

For more information, please see the attached flyer: Think College at OSU Multiple Perspectives Conference – April 13 2016

Spiff up your resume!

Looking for a job can be very overwhelming. One thing that job seekers constantly ask themselves is “where do I begin?” A lot of people do not want to leave their current job because they have NO idea where to begin with updating their resumes. A resume is tool that is designed to get you the interview.

Did you know that hiring managers usually take less than 15 seconds to look review your resume? Your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you. You want to take the time to make sure it is a good one. Make sure that …

  1. Your current contact information is ALWAYS located at the top of your resume.
  2. Your employment history gives detailed information about your work experience.
  3. Your experience is displayed in chronological format. Include your job title for each position listed, the employers’ names, and the dates you worked. List your accomplishments.
  4. Use a functional resume format that focuses on your functional skill areas.
  5. Highlight your competencies. For example: extensive retail and customer service experience, ability to multi-task and prioritize, enjoy working with and helping others.
  6. Customize your resume for each position by including key words targeted to each.
  7. Use bullet points and concise language to help make it easier to read.

Finally, there are some common mistakes that you can easily avoid!

  • Do make sure you meet basic requirements for the position
  • Do not include false information on your resume
  • Do not include personal or health information
  • Do not use more than 2 fonts
  • Do not use clip art or photos
  • Do not include salary information
  • Do make sure you SPELL CHECK!

For more information, check out the Goodwill Community Foundation’s tips on resume writing.


A Word from the Program (Feb 16)

February is already upon us!  I have for you both a tip and an exciting update.

Social Activities and RSVP

Many social activities require you to make transportation arrangements; a very important thing to remember is to make these arrangements BEFORE the event. If you need help planning a bus route or others please let us know. Our social coaches are often willing to support your transportation needs. This is especially important for the upcoming events to go Bowling on the 20th and to the Capital Area Humane Society on the 27th.

RVSP, what does it mean? A RSVP is a request for a reply. When you get an invitation to an event or an email with a question you most likely need to respond somehow. Often our staff will required a response in an email or you may need to RSVP to a social event. It is important to respond even if you are saying “No, I can’t attend.” This helps with planning.

TOPS Students Sharing Their Experiences

Megan and Shane meeting Dr. James Minor from the Office of Postsecondary Edcuation

On January 26th, two TOPS students, Megan and Shane, met with Dr. James Minor, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs in the Office of Postsecondary Education. Dr. Minor wanted to meet with students directly impacted by grants from the Office of Postsecondary Edcuation. Megan and Shane were able to speak to their experiences in the TOPS program and the benefits of the program on their futures. It was a great experience for them!

Tip to the TOP: Upload Files from your iPhone/iPad

For this month I’m going to show you a neat trick that you can do on your iPhone/iPad instead of an app!

OSU students – have you ever tried to upload a file to Carmen Dropbox in Safari on your iPhone or iPad, only to find that it doesn’t work? Well, until quite recently you couldn’t, but now you can! With the release of iOS 9.0 and iCloud Drive, the default browser (Mobile Safari) now supports uploading files from your device and from other file storage services, such as Google Drive and BuckeyeBox. In this month’s column I an going to show you exactly how to do that.

Let’s say that you want to upload a file from your Google Drive to a Carmen Dropbox. Before you start:

  1. Make sure that you have the Google Drive app installed on your iPhone or iPad, and that you have used the app at least once and that you are signed in. You need to install the app and sign in for every file storage service you want to use.
  2. Also, make sure that you are on the latest version of iOS (currently 9.2). You can do that by going to Settings → General → Software Update.

Here are the steps:

  1. Tap on the Upload button to call up a list of places where you can pick a file from.
    iOS Upload Step 0 - Select "Upload" to call up list of document providers
  2. You might not see the Google Drive option right away. To turn on that particular document provider, first tap “More”, find Google Drive, and toggle it on (e.g. the circle is on the right and the control is green). After you’ve turned it on, tap “Done” to go back.
    iOS Upload Step 1 - Add Google Drive to the list of document providers under "More"
  3. Now, access your Google Drive. First, tap “Google Drive”, and choose your account from a list if you are asked to. You should see the Google Drive document picker.
    iOS Upload Step 2 - Choose the Google Drive account you would like to upload a file from iOS Upload Step 3 - Select the file you would like to upload from the Google Drive document picker
  4. Tap on the file you want to upload, and you’re done – it is that easy!
    iOS Upload Step 4 - Files have been uploaded to Carmen from your Google Drive

Apple has been making it easier and easier for students to go iPad-Only, and I personally can’t wait to see what other exciting tools they will come up with next!

How do you use this month’s App/Tip to the TOP? Any other apps or tips that you would like to share? Discuss in the comments!