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CCM President Edward J. Yaw: Reaffirming Our Commitment to Student Success

Presidential Task Force on Addressing the Needs of Students with Physical and Learning Disabilities
In light of the recent circumstances surrounding the experience of a 16-year-old Challenger student at County College of Morris (CCM), I am forming a Presidential Task Force on Addressing the Needs of Students with Physical and Learning Disabilities. The Task Force will include representation from full-time and adjunct faculty, professionals who deal directly with students with disabilities, and students. The charge of the task force is to perform a comprehensive assessment of CCM’s current policies and procedures related to students with disabilities and to make recommendations for any needed changes prior to the end of this academic year.

We are delighted that Philip is now in a history class where he is fully participating and answering and asking questions, as is his right. CCM’s standard practice is that once college officials are alerted to any problems a student is experiencing that immediate action be taken to resolve those issues. As the college does with all students seeking accommodations, quick action was taken to resolve this student’s concerns so he can successfully continue his education. I am happy to report that he has told me he is enjoying his college experience at CCM as a result of the accommodations that were put in place for him. We also recognize the ongoing importance of ensuring that faculty, administrators, staff and students are informed of the policies, procedures and resources that exist to provide students with disabilities with appropriate accommodations.

Currently, professional training for faculty is provided through CCM’s Center for Teacher Excellence and during Adjunct Orientation each semester. Along with providing direct assistance to students with disabilities, the Center for Academic Support and Enrichment (CASE) and HORIZONS also offer assistance to faculty whose students include those with a disability.

We are proud of CCM’s history of sensitivity in dealing with the special needs of our students. We currently have about 1,000 students, out of a student population of 8,500, who have identified themselves as having disabilities or special educational needs. By carefully examining our existing policies, procedures and resources, the Presidential Task Force will help to ensure that CCM continues to stand firmly behind its commitment of ensuring that every student at CCM is provided with the best opportunity to succeed.

Dr. Edward J. Yaw