SHIELD (Students Honoring Individual Experiences and Learning Differences) is a program that includes a FIT course, a course during the fall, and additional activities designed to support neurodiverse students with ADHD, ADHD-like symptoms, and/or executive functioning skills challenges.
Dr. Edward Hallowell writes, "ADHD is a term that describes a way of being in the world. It is neither entirely a disorder nor entirely an asset. It is an array of traits specific to a unique kind of mind." Our program strives to support students' unique strengths and abilities as an avenue for thriving with distraction.
SHIELD runs parallel to a student's academic curriculum and takes the form of courses, seminars, study halls, and an informational newsletter for parents and other student supporters.
Executive Functioning skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, organize, focus our attention, remember instructions, and carry out tasks. These skills are an essential part of success in college. Students in SHIELD will learn strategies to build on their strengths to master the skills necessary to succeed in college while connecting to the peers and campus resources that will support them throughout their college journey.
Our initial cohort will consist of 25 students. These students will take a 1 credit hour course before the Fall semester begins and then take a 2 credit hour seminar during the Fall semester. They will also be paired with a peer Success Guide through the 49er Connect program. Our students will have the opportunity to interact with campus resources like the Office of Disability Services, Niner Finances, and Counseling and Psychological Services in a small group environment to learn more about how those offices can become a part of their college success team.