The first ever Bear POWER Summer Leadership Retreat occurred this summer. Bear POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience) is a two-year, five-semester inclusive college program created to offer a post-secondary education opportunity to students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) transitioning out of high school. The Bear POWER mission is “To effectively utilize existing campus and community resources to create an inclusive academic college program that generates individual outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities in the areas of education and employment.”
During the summer retreat the group of nine applicants stayed on Missouri State’s campus for three days and two nights, to experience college life. Part of that experience included visiting Meyer Library. Tracy Stout from Research and Instructional Services (RIS) provided the group with a tour in which the students were able to learn about the services, spaces, and collections available to MSU students. The selected applicants from this group will begin the program starting in the Spring semester. RIS is working with Bear POWER on future opportunities once the program begins in the spring. Discussions have included additional tours, information literacy instruction sessions and workshops, and a drop-in research help night.