New Miami regional campus program will help students with focusing on tasks

A new Miami University regional campus program at Hamilton (pictured) and Middletown campuses is designed to help incoming students who deal with ADHD and other similar problems to adjust successful to college academic expectations. The new Fusion program will begin this fall and initially 20 qualified students will be allowed to participate. (File Photo\Journal-News)
A new Miami University regional campus program at Hamilton (pictured) and Middletown campuses is designed to help incoming students who deal with ADHD and other similar problems to adjust successful to college academic expectations. The new Fusion program will begin this fall and initially 20 qualified students will be allowed to participate. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Miami University’s regional campuses will soon be offering a new program to help incoming students who have trouble focusing improve their chances of academic success.

The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention deficient disorders are becoming increasingly understood by educators. The conditions, which can vary widely in severity, makes a traditional approach to learning difficult.

But this fall the new Fusion program will be offered to 20 incoming students at Miami’s Hamilton and Middletown campuses. Participating students must be able to provide medical documentation of their conditions.

The program is needed, said Leslie Omaits, coordinator of Student Disability Services at Miami Regional Middletown campus.

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“Within the psychology of learning, there are many formal definitions of executive functioning (EF skills),” said Omaits. “Generally, EF skills are a broad group of higher-order cognitive skills needed to regulate your thinking, feelings and behaviors to reach a goal. These are skills used to structure our day, complete tasks and interact with others.”

Fusion will provide students with a learning plan that includes weekly academic planning meetings and support for making the transition from high school to college, she said.

According to the program’s website, the program will be housed within the Miami’s office of Student Disability Services.

Offered in the program are one-on-one help and other resources designed to help the new student improve their EF challenges (time management, organization, procrastination avoidance, etc.) that extend beyond the typical, mandated ADA accommodations. Our specialist will provide weekly one-on-one, scaffolded meetings with the goal of closing achievement gaps and increasing the likelihood of retention and graduation.

Omaits said that about 10 percent of regional students seek services through Student Disability Services.

The program’s effectiveness will be monitored during its first year for possible alterations or expansion.

“When you look at the broad range of symptoms, you could argue that a high percentage of our students have challenges with EF,” said Omaits.

“But the number of those rising to the level of needing interventional services is not known at this time. We will continuously evaluate our ability to effectively serve our students and make determinations as the need arises.”

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