NORMAL, Ill. — A program that helps students live independently is celebrating a decade of service.
The Heartland Academy for Learning Opportunities Program (HALO) aims to provide a higher education experience for students dealing with developmental or cognitive disabilities.
The goal is to give them a college experience while transitioning into a fully independent adult.
Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of Halo and to celebrate several alumni came for a luncheon. Many were amazed to see how much the program has grown since their time.
“In their high school or post high school programs they often have bells that they follow,” said Barb Glover, Program Assistant for Student Access and Accommodation Services at Heartland. “Here we work with the students, and we give them the choices. After their training we just set them free, and they are becoming independent, so its just amazing.”
Hearltand is one of just three colleges in the state with a program like this. Glover says the program staff is already looking forward to improving the program over the next 10 years.