Campus & Community

Higher Visions for Education program partners with DU

In a recent class, DU assistant athletic trainer Casey Madden taught students in the XX program about living a healthy lifestyle, focusing on nutrition. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

In a recent class, DU assistant athletic trainer Casey Madden taught students in the Higher Visions program about living a healthy lifestyle, focusing on nutrition. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

For the past 10 years, the University of Denver has partnered with the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association’s Higher Visions for Education (HVE) program. Each week, a group of adult students with Down syndrome can be found in DU’s Cherrington Hall learning about a variety of topics; from nutrition and wellness to art and cooking. The program exists to promote independence, socialization and lifelong learning for post-secondary students, many of whom work jobs during the day and gain additional enrichment from HVE in the evenings.

Over the past year, HVE has increased its collaboration with DU. Last fall, HVE students used the kitchens in the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management during a healthy cooking class and partnered with the DU cooking club. In another program highlight, the students displayed their artwork in the Shwayder Art Building’s student art gallery, complete with an opening reception for friends and family.

This quarter’s theme is “Health and Wellness,” and in a recent class, DU assistant athletic trainer Casey Madden taught the students about living a healthy lifestyle, focusing on nutrition.Madden is passionate about teaching and was excited at the chance to guest lecture. “It’s a great way for the DU sports medicine staff to share our knowledge and skills as athletic trainers with the DU community outside of the Ritchie Center,” she said.

Madden was also pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face in the class. One HVE student, Peter, works for the DU men’s hockey team. “Pete is a great help and always brings a smile to my face when I see him around the training room,” Madden said.

Sally McCance, HVE program coordinator and co-instructor, emphasized the importance of DU’s partnership with the program and its impact on students.

“Having our class on the DU campus is really powerful, and our students are very proud to be a part of the DU community,” McCance said. “They tell their families and friends, ‘I have my college class; on Thursdays I go to class at DU.’ It’s a part of their identity that they get to share.”

DU students are integral in creating a sense of community for the HVE participants. McCance said the group takes exercise walks around campus, and that DU students will often strike up conversations with the HVE students. “For the HVE students, it’s genuine inclusion vs. staged inclusion, which is why it’s so great to have the class here,” she said.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*