Scholars Forum Success Stories: Five Students from Professional Studies in Education

Posted on 3/31/2016 2:13:27 PM

The Undergraduate Scholars Forum (USF) is a yearly event allowing students to present their findings and development for those interested in research. Students interact with scholars, professors, and other individuals who seek interest in the occasion.

Today's story features five College of Education and Educational Technology students who won second place for Outstanding Presentation at the 2015 USF.

These education majors presented their research on autism students transitioning to college. Their main purpose was to look into autism programs at different Pennsylvania universities and how IUP's program can do differently. During their research they interviewed professors and parents of students who have autism in a program called Special Needs Activity Program (SNAP) to understand their perspective on autism and how others view others view their children.

Other interviews that they researched were current IUP professors to question whether they knew what autism is and how they work with students with autism. Unfortunately, the majority of the professors were unsuccessful at providing any information regarding their questions. From their interviews, the education majors concluded that if students with autism do not reach out to disability services, they lack any help from their department or fellow students.

During the USF, the education majors used a Prezi presentation to show the results they have concluded. Not only did their hard work present them with an award, they were able to scope the event to talk to other presenters and display boards. All five students walked away with a sense of accomplishment from praises of their work, months of practice, and a deeper passion for special needs education.

“I was always passionate about autism, and that passion grew. These are my friends and family now. We have spent a lot of hours together preparing for the forum, and it teaches you about yourself along the way. You're learning about a topic you care about, and you have to learn what you can do being in action, and that is really empowering.”

-Ashley Rush (Junior, Early Childhood Special Education)

(Story and video compiled by Nakisha Cohen, English/Writing Studies)