News from MacMurray College
MacMurray students live their major
Two students reside at Illinois School for the Deaf.
Most MacMurray student residents wake up on the MacMurray campus each morning, but Kelly Franklin and Megan Toomey wake up at the Illinois School for the Deaf. As part of a college-worker program, Franklin and Toomey, both students in the deaf and hard of hearing education program, live at ISD throughout the school year while attending MacMurray.
A major benefit of the program for students is the language immersion. Communicating only through sign language forces these students to interact with and learn American Sign Language outside of the classroom.
This is the second year that Franklin has been living at ISD. “The kids are great, and this program is a great way to improve my signing,” said Franklin, a senior from Dunlap, IL,
Toomey, of Wellfleet, MA, applied to MacMurray College because of this program. Her former teacher, Tracy Lee DeStefano, a 1979 MacMurray graduate, told her about this college-work opportunity. Toomey quickly applied to MacMurray and is now a freshman deaf education major on her way to becoming fluent in sign language.
Franklin and Toomey work on the ISD campus for 15 hours each week in exchange for room and board.They oversee the ISD students in the school’s residential dorms, tutor students and build relationships with them by signing.
“Illinois School for the Deaf’s college-worker program is beneficial to any college student. It will give you a total cultural immersion that will assist you greatly in your chosen career,” said Grady Gilkey, Illinois School for the Deaf’s dean of students and college-work program supervisor. “There is an opportunity to positively impact the lives of deaf and hard of hearing students. It is a fantastic way to jump-start your career.”