Advanced Leadership and Career Development (ALCD) Program
The Kennesaw State University Academy for Inclusive Learning & Social Growth's Advanced Leadership and Career Development (ALCD) program is designed for students who have been successful in completing an introductory inclusive post-secondary program.
ALCD is a certificate program with a focus on four key areas: Academic, Social, Career, and Leadership. The ALCD program will enhance career skills of students enrolled. It will allow students to grow socially, experience leadership opportunities, and receive inclusive access to KSU academic courses with student mentor support. Themed on-campus housing is available for interested participants.
ALCD students are expected to comply with the course syllabus for each inclusive course, as directed by the professor. Students are expected to attempt each component of the course offered to their typical peers, including exams, quizzes, research papers, group presentations and in-class skills assessments. Modifications to course work are arranged by Academy staff in collaboration with the course professor and are based on individual student needs and skill level. Since ALCD students audit courses aligned with career goals, the curriculum can vary.
All ALCD students are required to participate in supplemental Academy courses each week. These courses are designed to provide Academy students additional academic, social, and leadership skill development. Academy courses are facilitated by Academy staff. Participation in these courses is required in order to meet certificate completion requirements. All ALCD students participate in the Global Leadership and Civic Engagement Course and Adult Living and Career Seminar during each semester of enrollment.
Internships allow students the opportunity to learn critical career skills through hands-on experience of best practices. Employment and internship sites are developed by the Academy Career team and based on student’s interest, career goals and availability. Internships are both paid and non-paid and dependent on the employer at the job site. Students are accessed and feedback is provided to the career team from the peer mentor and employer for both the ASCE and ALCD programs. Students upon completion of the ASCE and ALCD programs will have a career portfolio that will be used to assist the student in obtaining meaningful employment.
Social skill development and social integration into campus life are important program components. ALCD students receive skill development support through weekly Academy courses, personal and social adjustment groups, and campus presentations. Skills are then applied through inclusive campus activities, events, and residential living. Activities may include intramural sports, Residence Life events, tailgating, and Recreational Center classes. Social development and engagement activities are required participation hours for program completion. Students meet with the Academy Social Advisor regularly to discuss and formulate individualized plans for social engagement that is tracked through the student’s schedule/calendar. The Social Advisor is also available to students for walk-in meetings and crisis intervention and referral services.
Degree-seeking students are hired as peer mentors to provide ongoing support through assisting the ALCD student in negotiating necessary accommodations, which may include (but are not limited to) note-taking in class, reading a test, or proofreading a homework assignment. The peer mentors participate in extensive training at the beginning of each semester, as well as monthly refresher sessions. Academy students are matched to the peer mentors based on availability and personality and will maintain a consistent schedule throughout the entire semester. As advanced Academy students, they do not have to be assisted by a mentor in class and will generally have less structured study sessions to enhance independent learning.
Students who successfully meet the requirements of the program will receive a completion certificate conferred by the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to demonstrate the following job related skills through successful completion of internship requirements and staff and self-evaluations: Strong work ethic, time management, problem-solving skills, professional communication, and flexibility and adaptability. Additionally, students demonstrate independent living skills through participation in Wellness classes and activities, inclusion in culinary curriculum, and navigation of both campus and public transit. Students will also receive a transcript of attendance in inclusive KSU courses.
Internship participation is a requirement of all ALCD students, and the job skills developed during these experiences are invaluable to future success.