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Muskingum University PLUS program empowers students to make strong transition from high school to
higher education

High school students with learning differences can get off to a strong start on their college careers with the help of Muskingum University’s PLUS Program.

Established in 1983, the PLUS Program continues Muskingum’s long-held tradition of individual attention to all students with the goal of educating them in the most supportive and successful way possible. Learning differences, including ADHD or other challenges in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, math, memory, fluency, processing speed and executive functioning can further influence an already challenging transition.

Eileen Henry“With proper support, students with learning differences, including ADHD, can and do succeed in college and beyond,” according to PLUS Center Executive Director Dr. Eileen Henry. The impact of the PLUS program on both students and their families can be profound, she added.

“The PLUS Program is designed to empower rather than rescue students. A shift in the student’s mindset from focusing on what’s wrong to focusing on what’s working, discovering what is possible, and using strengths and interests to ignite performance is essential to academic achievement and can ease the transition to college,” said Dr. Henry.

“PLUS Program staff members guide students as they take on more responsibility for their learning and self-advocacy, rather than depending on their parents to represent them. The PLUS Program by no means replaces parents’ influence, but it does help students understand the need to represent themselves in an appropriate, authentic and effective way.”

At the heart of the program is a PLUS staff dedicated to helping students with learning differences move through the many changes every new student faces, including meeting college expectations, balancing an increased academic workload, managing their time and becoming part of the college community.

“Our goal in the PLUS Program,” Dr. Henry explained, “goes beyond simply helping a student ‘get through’ their education. Our goal is to nurture what is best in students, to cultivate student self-awareness and to support students in creating and using tools they need not only to survive in college, but to thrive. What we hope for, ultimately, is for students to create and use learning strategies and self-advocacy skills that will serve them here at Muskingum and for the rest of their lives.”

To meet students’ needs, the PLUS Program offers numerous levels of service, from full and maintenance levels of support to an essential level, each offering changing degrees of help as the student grows academically and personally.

“This is not a cookie-cutter approach to helping these students,” Dr. Henry said. “All of the resources of the program are geared toward understanding students and using PLUS Program tools for the best result possible. The one thing we all have in common is the desire for student success, as revealed and defined by each student.”

For more information on the PLUS program, visit the PLUS Program page or call the PLUS office at 740-826-8280.