The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a non-profit organization that focuses on individuals with exceptionalities and is dedicated to improving their educational outcomes, as well as erasing the stigma that surrounds them. They have a chapter at Kean known as the KUCEC, which is a community comprised of students that promote and dedicated to the advancing of the success of children with exceptionalities and disabilities.
KUCEC has many objectives and tasks that they aim to accomplish.
President Jessica Garner said, "Our organization's goal is to raise awareness, as well as promote acceptance among our peers with disabilities, which can aid in the development of a positive and accepting environment at Kean University."
To promote acceptance at Kean, KUCEC offers volunteer opportunities for their members to gain experience with those who have disabilities, while also becoming involved in the community. By engaging in these service opportunities, the members of KUCEC brighten the days of those with disabilities, and show them that they are cared for and not overlooked.
The organization also hosts informational events to promote the education and understanding of special needs peers. For example, this semester they hosted an event with Kayla's Paws Service Paws Foundation, in which attendees learned about the process of training service dogs, and how they benefit those with disabilities.
Many of the members of the KUCEC are education majors that want to become more aware of how they can improve their interactions with, and help those with, exceptionalities. Because of this, KUCEC educates their members on current information and advancements within the Special Education field. They also give advice and provide resources to those future educators, which they can use in their professional fields in the future.
Garner said, "KUCEC has taught me about the Praxis, edTPA, and has informed me on what to expect during my clinical experiences."
She continued, "Being the president of this organization has to be one of my greatest honors, because it has such a powerful purpose and has potential to make a difference at Kean University."
Overall, KUCEC is a community of accepting students that are dedicated to helping raise awareness and acceptance for those who have exceptionalities. They are committed to educating themselves and the Kean Community on these topics, which, in turn, is creating a more loving and understanding environment on campus.
If one is interested in joining or learning more about KUCEC, be sure to check out their Cougar Link page. Additionally, their first meeting for the Spring 2020 semester will be held on Feb. 12 in Hennings Hall, Room 113, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., so be sure to stop by to learn more.