PLNU News

09
Mar

Sarah (Wilson) (07) Reed, who earned her bachelor’s in liberal studies and master’s in education from PLNU, teaches 11 students from Kindergarten to third grade in her moderate/severe special education class. Four of those students have diagnosed autism. For those four students, finding balance is key.

“Most of my students with autism have sensory integration disorder… their bodies need help achieving balance. Without balance, it’s difficult for them to focus,” said Reed.

Reed will help these students receive the sensory input they need by squeezing their arms, legs, or fingers so they can concentrate. She uses a special brush to achieve the same integration. Other students need more sensory input, so they will push on a wall or carry heavy objects. One of her students wears headphones throughout the day to help minimize anxiety and sensory overload. Reed also uses the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

“Students use icons to describe what they want, which will eventually and hopefully lead to speaking,” she explained.

Even with recent budget cuts and the dissolving of the autism team at her school, Reed says her students continue to get a “fabulous education in a positive environment.”

“My students have access to a myriad of resources onsite, including occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, and speech therapists who are on call if I ever need help,” said Reed.

Reed has a heart for her work, passion that is key to the success of her students.

“The greatest joy [of teaching] is finding out what my students enjoy… Seeing a child with autism when they know we ‘get’ even a piece of them makes all the schedules, tantrums, and diapers worthwhile.”

Viewpoint
09
Mar

 

The Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC), under the direction of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), provides a learning environment for both children and university students on PLNU’s campus, a dynamic that Susan Rogers, director of the ECLC, calls a “classroom within a classroom.”

PLNU students taking a class in the development of the special needs child give one-on-one support to children with autism in the ECLC. Since children with autism tend to cling to organization and order, they may have individualized schedule boards or cards that have pictures or words lining up the day’s activities.

A poster board on the wall of the ECLC is covered with pictures of the different activities in the classroom. As a way of augmented communication, a student with autism can point to the various pictures to indicate where he or she would like to play. One boy in the class has a plastic keychain attached to his schedule that bends and swivels – a coping mechanism for sensory integration.

In Tamara Heinz’s 3-year-old class, she has a “sensory box,” a play table filled with objects of different textures that help sooth and perhaps ground the children to take in different stimuli.

“Giving a child with autism something tactile is just a calming tool,” said Heinz. “Giving children tools for transitions helps since change can be hard for them.”

Children can also jump on the trampoline or run through the trees outside the classroom if they need to move. These are just a few examples of the different avenues the ECLC provides for children to feel more comfortable and to listen and participate more on their own terms.

Children in the ECLC are not the only ones being impacted by a rich learning environment. FCS students get 100 hours of classroom time at the ECLC, giving them priceless field experience for their future careers.

“Many of our students have been inspired to become special education teachers,” said Kay Wilder, Ph.D., chair of the FCS department. “Many others now have the knowledge to identify a child with a learning disorder, which is helpful in many different situations.”

“It’s a real ministry,” said Rogers. “Our students will be helping children and families for the rest of their lives.”

 

Viewpoint
06
Mar

 The Point Loma Singers (PLS) took a nine-day, 2,000-mile trip through Western Canada, Idaho, and Washington over spring break, March 6-13. “We sang in many churches and at Ambrose University College (the Nazarene school in Canada), including my hometown of Red Deer,” said director Keith Pedersen, D.M.A.“We also sang for my 102-year-old grandmother. We saw deer, elk, mountain sheep, and a moose, and we had a snowball fight in the Canadian Rockies.”

An unexpected adventure happened while they were on their way to Banff, Alberta. The choir’s vans got stuck at the bottom of a hill due to snowy roads, and they were stranded for three hours in sub-zero degree temperatures.

PLS members stayed positive, and a farmer was eventually able to clear the road for them, making departure possible. With a good sense of adventure and hearts brimming with positivity and praise, the PLS tour was full of “marvelous experiences,” said Pedersen.

Music, Worship Ministries
04
Mar

San Diego leaders received actionable economic analysis recommendation on how to move forward in an ever-changing economy at the 2011 Fermanian Business & Economic Institute's (FBEI) annual economic outlook forum, "Sustaining the Expansion." Dr. Lynn Reaser, FBEI's chief economist, presented her economic forecast for the national, state, and regional economy. 

In addition, George Chamberlin, executive editor of the San Diego Daily Transcript, chaired a panel discussion of industry leaders, including Cyrus Mirsaidi, CEO of Molecular Response; Mary Lewis, CFO of the City of San Diego; and Tom Wetherald, director of business development & strategic planning for General Dynamics NASSCO. They each gave an analysis of their organizations and industries, particularly relating to the San Diego economy.

 

According to the outlook, 2011 will be a year in which...

  • The U.S. economy gains momentum, with the private sector seizing the growth baton.
  • Job growth will be double the pace of 2010, although the drop in the unemployment rate will be slow.
  • High commodity prices will affect both consumers and businesses, but overall inflation will remain in check.
  • Interest rates will move higher and stocks will outperform bonds. 
  • California will parallel the nation with better economic performance in 2011. 
  • San Diego will see moderate, but broad-based, gains.

But we also believe that...

  • All levels of government—federal, state, and local—must address budget deficits in order to achieve a sustainable economic expansion.

 


 

To read an electronic version of the entire economic outlook publication, click here.

To learn more about FBEI events, click here.

 

PLNU
04
Mar

Welcome to FAQ Fridays, where we take the questions we get most and answer them…maybe before you’ve even thought to ask. This week we'll be answering your questions about how, when and where you can study abroad. One in three students study abroad at PLNU and we hope you'll be one of those students too!

Study Abroad

1.     Where can I study?
Basically…anywhere!  Check out our many programs in Africa, South and Central America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific!  Students have studied in more than 50 countries, and we work with programs on every continent (including Antarctica…but no one actually goes to that one).

2.     How much does it cost?

Good news…when you go abroad through PLNU, you don’t have to pay PLNU tuition and fees—you just pay your program cost.  And our Study Abroad employees work diligently to find programs that are comparable in cost or cost less than a semester at Point Loma.  There are also scholarships specific to students who study abroad!

3.     When can I go abroad?

You can start your travels as soon as your sophomore year!

4.     Is it safe??

Definitely.  Our Study Abroad staff does everything in its power to ensure that you’re safe when you’re abroad.  That includes visiting programs before we send students there, pre-departure education and training for students, and staying in constant contact with each program while students are there!

5.     I’m a Nursing major…can I study abroad?

You sure can.  Generally, in our more prescriptive majors that have very specific semester schedules (we want you to graduate in four years!), we recommend that students take advantage of our many summer study abroad programs!

6.     Will the classes I take abroad count toward my PLNU degree?  Will this set me behind, academically?

One of the many great things about PLNU’s Study Abroad Office is how involved they are in your decision to study abroad.  Once you pick a place, they will work to pre-approve all of your coursework in order to ensure that you are taking relevant, transferrable courses while you’re abroad.  We don’t want taking advantage of studying abroad to set you behind on your four-year graduation track!

7.     Do my scholarships count toward study abroad?

State and federal financial aid typically applies to study abroad programs.  Institutional aid, such as PLNU grants and scholarships, do not apply to programs taken abroad unless study abroad is listed in the catalog as a requirement for your major/minor.  However, your semester abroad should not affect your eligibility for such aid upon your return.Don't forget, there are also scholarships specific to students who study abroad!

8.     How do I start the process of studying abroad?

First of all, check out their website!  There are a ton of resources there for you to peruse at anytime!  For specific program inquiries, program admission and/or general questions about the Study Abroad program, please email StudyAbroad@pointloma.edu or call the PLNU Study Abroad Office (619) 849-2972.  Also, as visitors to campus, you can attend a prospective student Study Abroad Session!  Just let us know when you want to visit!

Admissions (Undergraduate)
25
Feb

 

In 2010, alternative travelers biked more than 2,000 miles to and from campus, and the number of bikers and miles are quickly growing.

This Friday is another Bike the (Traffic) Jam, a sustainability department-hosted, monthly bike-to-campus day. Commuters are encouraged to make their way to campus by bicycle rather than car. 

Riders are greeted with refreshments when they reach PLNU, and prizes are given by raffle and to the commuter traveling the furthest. Bike the Jam was inspired by San Diego’s Bike to Work Day, which is held each May. Because of positive feedback, PLNU made biking to work a monthly event.

Inspired? Dust off your bike (or walking shoes) and visit www.pointloma.edu/Sustainability.

 

Sustainability