First of its kind club formed by Cadets supporting students with learning disabilities
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A group of cadets who are in the Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel shared a goal – they wanted to promote awareness and support for the education of people with learning disabilities, their families, and those who teach them. That goal led them, with the guidance of their professor, to form a student club called the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel (SLDAC). They collaborated with the South Carolina chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), becoming an extension of that chapter.
“The cadets knew the idea was unique to The Citadel; however, they did not realize they were creating the first college club of its kind,” said Citadel professor and club sponsor Tammy Graham, Ed.D. She is also a member of the board for the Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina. “The result is that the state’s chapter was recognized with a national award by LDA for having the first college student chapter in America.”
The Citadel LDA chapter has 16 members and operates under the same rules and policies as LDA America. The cadets initiate and assist with campus and community programs supporting the education of people with learning disabilities, and club members include some Citadel students who have learning disabilities themselves.
According to the LDA, other colleges and university programs have begun to inquire about forming their own LDA college clubs. SLDAC will serve as a model for these programs.
“It was really exciting to be able to contribute to the national recognition of the state LDA as they have been great mentors and collaborators,” said Kyle Wise, a graduating senior who served as vice president of the club in addition to student teaching and serving as chair of The Citadel’s Honor Committee. “Most of our officers are seniors heading to their next step as educators, but we know our younger classmates in the Corps will continue with this mission.”
Along with Cadet Andrew Mai, a junior who served as president of SLDAC, and several other sophomore and junior club members, graduating seniors who helped found the club include:
- Kyle Wise (vice president)
- Kevin Gess (treasurer and 1st Battalion Commander)
- Brittaney Maples (secretary)
- John Brosch (Regimental Commander for the South Carolina Corps of Cadets)
- Rosemary Eggers
- Jessica Loya
Permission was granted May 7, 2015, by the Zucker Family School of Education, The Citadel, to reprint this article.