Project Success History, Goals and Philosophy
History. Project Success, founded by Dr. Robert T. Nash, began serving students in 1979. The program grew rapidly from serving six students in 1979 to 150 students in 1985. The program now serves approximately 320 students with a staff of 40 tutors. Over the years the program has been in existence, hundreds of its students have graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh or have transferred to another university and graduated.
Goals. The overarching goal of the Project Success program is that participants will become independent in and across all of these major educational areas: mathematics, spelling, reading, writing, comprehension and study skills. As full-time university students they will acquire, educationally, their language independence (non clinically) by mastering the entire phonemic* sound structure of the American-English language.
* The terms phonemic and phoneme are not to be confused with the term phonetics. Phonetics represents the study of speech sounds, how they are produced (articulatory phonetics), how they are perceived (auditory phonetics) and their physical properties (acoustic phonetics).
Philosophy. Project Success is one of only a handful of schools nationwide that is a remedial program rather than a tutorial assistance program. Most colleges and universities that offer programs for students with learning disabilities are based on the tutorial model. What's the major difference between these models and how does it affect my choice of programs for myself or my son or daughter?
A tutorial assistance program offers services that help a student compensate for his or her dyslexia. For example, typical services offered by this type of program include books on tape, readers for assignments and tests, note takers, and tutors to explain content. The goal of the tutorial assistance program is to provide the necessary aids to help the student succeed.
In contrast to a tutorial program, Project Success is a remedial program. The goal of a remedial program is to assist the student to develop the necessary language skills to read, write, and spell effectively and efficiently to the point that the student becomes academically independent. Our program does not have a library of books on tape. Instead, the goal of our course instruction and tutoring assistance is to teach students how to use the sound structure of the American English language to become language independent. Therefore, when one of our tutors helps a student with a course, in addition to teaching course content, the goal of instruction is also to help the student learn how to read the book and apply study skills which will allow him or her to become academically independent.
A logical question is how long does the process of becoming academically independent take? Our goal is that the process occurs within two to seven semesters after entry into the program. This is a large time variation, but some students, because of their level of disability upon entering the program, take longer. The point is, however, that with good instruction and persistence, students can be taught to become language independent. Our summer program is the first step on the road to language independence