Graduate project

The role of the residential school in continuing education

This paper presents the reader with some of the major problems that residential schools for the deaf face in continuing education and offers suggestions which would assist administrators and teachers in providing continuing education opportunities. To bring this paper into being, it was necessary to obtain data from residential school staff members and grass-roots deaf adults regarding their opinions on having a residential school for the deaf administer and finance a continuing education program for deaf adults. It further seeks to compare their feelings about the rapid growth of the residential school as a significant center for continuing education. The findings indicated that not all residential schools are the best places to administer continuing education programs. All the interviewees believed that residential school facilities should be made available to deaf adults for meetings, classes, and recreational activities at a no-cost basis. Since they pay taxes to support the residential school, they should have a greater appreciation of the school and are willing to share responsibility for use and care of the equipment and furnishings. The topic of volunteer programs brought a more positive response of a volunteer program. The interviewees felt that the program would save the school some money by having volunteers develop materials and games in class. The conclusions drawn from this study were (1) that school facilities should be available f or a variety of community activities and enrichment classes without charge, (2) that the state must assume a leadership role in providing funds for the implementation of a continuing education program for deaf adults , (3) that residential schools must work more in-depth with community people and staff members, (4) that it is necessary to establish a schoolwork-related counseling program as an integral part of the continuing education program, and (5) that residential schools should seriously consider the possibility of developing volunteer programs. It is hoped that these broad statements might be applied to each residential school in an effort to meet the continuing education needs of the deaf adults throughout the United States.