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September 25, 2018

CiTi’s Exceptional Education Students Gain Social Skills with SUNY Oswego Mentor Program


MEXICO – A new partnership between SUNY Oswego and the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation aims to boost confidence and social needs of CiTi’s Exceptional Education students.

CiTi Exceptional Education students Austin Quinn, left, and Sam Hollis work on a life timeline project with mentor Haley Zicari. CiTi utilizes SUNY Oswego’s Mentor-Scholar program to help Exceptional Education students develop and enhance their social and emotional skills.

CiTi Exceptional Education students Austin Quinn, left, and Sam Hollis work on a life timeline project with mentor Haley Zicari. CiTi utilizes SUNY Oswego’s Mentor-Scholar program to help Exceptional Education students develop and enhance their social and emotional skills.

The college’s Mentor-Scholar program pairs 10 college student mentors of various degrees of study with 15 Exceptional Education students in middle or high school. A detailed curriculum plan will be used to discuss successes and aspirations, team building, values, and project-based exploring.

“It’s about having our kids see all of the possibilities,” said Jo Ann Smegelsy, CiTi school counselor. “They’re learning about themselves too: what they value, what defines them and their interests.”

The hour-long, weekly program is voluntary, and based on SUNY Oswego’s calendar.

Holly Nosiglia, graduate assistant for the program, said the social and emotional focus is unique to the established Mentor-Scholar Program, which typically focuses on academic needs of students in Oswego County.

While she hopes the program at CiTi establishes future goals for the Exceptional Education students, Nosiglia said successes would also come from development of established relationships with mentors.

“I’d like it if they all just felt more comfortable,” she said.

Haley Zicari, a SUNY Oswego senior public justice major, said in just the first few weeks she has enjoyed being a mentor to Exceptional Education students Austin Quinn and Sam Hollis.

The Fulton City School District students worked with Zicari recently on creating life timelines, as an icebreaker to get to know one another better.

Time is reserved at the end of each session for students and mentors to participate in group games.

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