College2Careers provides added support for UC students with disabilities

Thanks to the new College2Careers program, students with disabilities are more supported than ever at the University of Cincinnati as they pursue their goals and plan for a career.

College2Careers is part of a statewide initiative led by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine that is designed to ensure students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of the labor market.

UC is one of 15 public colleges and universities in Ohio to sign a memorandum of understanding and join in the partnership that includes Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

“Student success is paramount for the University of Cincinnati and is the foundation of our Bearcat Promise. Thanks to the partnership of OOD and Governor DeWine, Ohio College2Careers is providing additional assistance to ensure that our students with disabilities complete their degrees and enter thriving careers,” says UC President Neville G. Pinto.

At UC, the program involves a three-pronged approach that includes the accessibility resources and career services offices, as well as a dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor from OOD. The team will collaborate to provide students with assistance in exploring potential career options, developing a resume, preparing for the interview process, pursuing internships and navigating OhioMeansJobs resources.

President Pinto and UC staff outdoors on the uptown UC campus

Leaders from OOD and UC formalize the College2Careers partnership. From L to R: Susan Pugh, OOD; Karen Ryan, UC Director of Government Relations; Kevin Miller, OOD; Neville G. Pinto, UC President; Erik Williamson, OOD; Kristen Ballinger, OOD; Deborah Merchant, UC VP of Student Affairs; Pamela Goines, UC Director of Accessibility Resources.

“Our goal is for every UC student to earn their degree and have the opportunity to apply their education and skills toward a meaningful career. The College2Careers program brings added resources that allow us to really enhance the services and support we provide for our students with disabilities,” says UC Vice President for Student Affairs Debra Merchant. “I am proud that we are part of this statewide partnership and I look forward to the many success stories the program will help generate.”

Goals for the program at UC are to increase the number of students with disabilities who graduate and secure permanent employment, as well as increase awareness among employers about inclusive work practices that provide more opportunities for persons with disabilities in their company or organization.

“The College2Careers partnership is a game changer,” adds UC Blue Ash College Director of Accessibility Resources Pamela Goines. “It recognizes the capabilities, determination and potential that so many of our students with disabilities possess, and it provides the career preparation services that will give them more opportunities than ever before to seek competitive employment.”

You can learn more about the C2C initiative at UC by visiting the College2Careers website. More information on the statewide program is also available on the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities website.

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