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Mallory Keller ’17 works on assessment with Pathfinder Village’s Otsego Academy

By Upstate Institute on August 15, 2014

Mallory Keller ‘17 completed the end of her first year at Colgate by accepting a Field School Fellowship to work with Pathfinder Village in West Edmeston. Pathfinder Village provides program services and supports for children and adults with Down syndrome and related developmental disabilities. The Pathfinder School currently provides educational instruction for residential and day students beginning at age 5. Opening in 2014, Pathfinder’s Otsego Academy will offer a 2 year post secondary college experience for young adults who have completed high school or its equivalent. The academy will combine functional academics with vocational employment preparation within the Pathfinder Village campus.

Mallory Keller '17 at Pathfinder Village

Mallory Keller ’17 at Pathfinder Village

Mallory Keller ‘17 completed the end of her first year at Colgate by accepting a Field School Fellowship to work with Pathfinder Village in West Edmeston. Pathfinder Village provides program services and supports for children and adults with Down syndrome and related developmental disabilities. The Pathfinder School currently provides educational instruction for residential and day students beginning at age 5. Opening in 2014, Pathfinder’s Otsego Academy will offer a 2 year post secondary college experience for young adults who have completed high school or its equivalent. The academy will combine functional academics with vocational employment preparation within the Pathfinder Village campus.

Mallory’s fellowship focused on research on the role of assessments in a post-secondary institution for people with Down Syndrome. Her research will be used to create assessment tools for Otsego Academy that will allow staff to determine students’ academic, social, functional and vocational aptitudes. The tools will be a part of a complete assessment program that will be administered, interpreted and implemented during the two year academy to give the students the skills needed to become more independent.

As a rising sophomore interested in studying education, Mallory has taken advantage of the fellowship with Pathfinder to develop research skills. She says that she has, “learned how to find quality information fast, and I am able to present the information in an effective way to be the most useful for the academy. I can now use these skills for future research papers and projects at Colgate. As an intended Education Studies major, this summer project has also given me experience in a special education classroom and the process in which students’ progress is recorded, which will be helpful in future special education courses.”

The experience has also helped her think about her future career plans. While she started the fellowship knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in education or not-for-profit work, she had no previous experience working with people with disabilities. She says she had not considered a career in the disabilities field because she did not feel that she was experienced or qualified in working in that sector. “The Upstate Institute has given me more confidence in my abilities,” she said,  “and because of my job at Pathfinder Village, I am interested in the education of people, specifically children, with disabilities. I think my future plans will now involve a career in the disabilities field.”

 

 


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