Mercyhurst University is all about service and doing what we can to help and accommodate others. The OASIS program is one of the ways the school tries to better the lives of their students.
Recently, OASIS has expanded from the Mercyhurst North East culinary program to developing a certificate for the Hospitality program.
“The decision to expand our program was related to the need we saw to reach other demographics (i.e., students that were interested in attending college courses – but had no interest in the culinary field),” OASIS Program Facilitator Sara Kitchen said. “We have yet to issue any certificates in hospitality – this is a new certificate that is being offered for the 2013-14 school year. Students working toward the OASIS certificate in hospitality will take courses within the hospitality major at MUNE that focus on guest services on other vocation-specific tasks.”
The OASIS program is a great program for students with disabilities who want to better their education and attend college.
“The OASIS Program is a one-year, proficiency-based certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program operates within a hybrid model – within which, the enrolled students spend a chunk of their time with full-time Mercyhurst students and a chunk of their time in small-group and one-on-one instruction (with other students with disabilities),” Kitchen said in regards to OASIS .
Kitchen also added a quote from the Institute for Community Inclusion that she believes defines the meaning of OASIS to the tee. The quote reads:
“Receiving a college education and experiencing that very exciting time in life is as beneficial for students with intellectual disabilities as for students without. The growth that students experience in college can be measured in a number of areas, including academic and personal skill-building, employment, independence, self-advocacy, and self-confidence… For students with intellectual disabilities, this growth is also reflected in increased self-esteem when they begin to see themselves as more similar to than different from their peers without disabilities…When we keep college in the mix of possibilities as students with intellectual disabilities explore which steps to take after high school, it makes the statement that we believe in their potential success.”
The OASIS program is a great program that Mercyhurst is proud to be a part of. Many students do not notice the efforts the University makes to accommodate those who may have disabilities, but the programs are there, they just tend to go unnoticed sometimes.
Expanding the OASIS program to Hospitality is a big step in the right direction. Mercyhurst has a wonderful Hospitality program with new equipment that prepares the students with what they need to have a fulfilling degree. Helping those with disabilities take advantage of OASIS and the new Hospitality Certificate beginning next fall is just the beginning of something the University and Sara Kitchen are very proud of.
For more information on OASIS, visit North East Culinary or check out the OASIS Facebook page at Facebook.com/MUNEOASIS.