On September 17, 2019, the Propel Program was extremely proud to have been a stop on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Back to School Tour. We received honored guests Department of Education Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett, Gerren McHam of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Mara Woody, E.D., who is the Assistant Commissioner for Postsecondary Policy at Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. The Propel Program received support by the Department of the Psychology Chairwoman Dr. Joan McDowd, Interim Executive Associate Dean Dr. John Herron, Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal and Provost Bichelmeyer who were also in attendance.
Our distinguished visitors heard from current Propel students about their experiences in the program while Propel staff were interviewed about the specific areas where they provide support for Propel students. The publicized visit was mentioned twice on local news station KSHB 41, and later mentioned in the Department of Education Review where Assistant Secretary Collett was quoted as saying, “The department is committed to ensuring that students and youth with disabilities are held with high expectations and have the resources and supports needed to expand their learning opportunities and prepare them for success in postsecondary education or careers.”
Additionally, Assistant Secretary Collett tweeted his entire UMKC visit, tagging both Propel and the University in his tweets, “I ended my day with a visit to @UMKC @UMKCPropel, which provides adults with intellectual developmental disabilities the opportunity to explore employment and education on a university campus. The TPSID grant enabled @UMKC to create and expand a high quality inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary transition programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. #EducationFreedomTour #EducationFreedom #RethinkSchool @MODHEWD.”
The Propel faculty and staff would like to thank all our students, their supports and families for helping to make this visit possible. We love our students and we are proud to be providing this educational opportunity for them.