Trinity Unveils Updated Center for Curriculum and Special Education

Sep 26, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of visionary friends of the College and the hard work of Trinity faculty and staff, the Ed Vander Weele Curriculum Center and the Alexander De Jong Center for Special Education now share an expanded footprint on the second floor of Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library.

Work completed over the summer enhanced the center by embedding a flexible learning space within curriculum materials.

“It is always exciting to see the outcome when creative people collaborate on a project for the enhancement of the academic experience for our students,” said Rick Van Dyken VP for Advancement. “This project took two important, but under-utilized, spaces and created a fantastic learning environment for all of our students.”

Updates to the room include:

  • New furniture to supports the current trend in education of flexible seating
  • State-of-the-art educational technology that students will learn to incorporate meaningfully before they enter their future classrooms such as a new 75-inch Smartboard, five iPads, and AAC communication devices
  • Large windows to enhance visibility of the space and the resources within
  • A fresh coat of paint
  • New flooring
  • Repurposed shelving
  • A new collection layout
  • Other improvements that are on the way include assistive technologies that will help students learn how to increase participation and independence for students with disabilities such as switches, adaptive scissors, and pencil grips.

Adaptive resources were also added to enhance hands-on learning opportunities for teachers in training and provide greater hospitality for students visiting from local partner Elim Christian School. For example, a desk in the new space can be adjusted to comfortably accommodate right-handed or left-handed students.

“The newly remodeled Curriculum Materials Center and Center for Special Education are quickly becoming a favorite place for students to study,” said Cathy Mayer, Library Director. “The ample natural light and vibrant colors of the children’s book collection make the space an invigorating and inviting place to work.”

Several classes are being held in the space, which has shaped the way students perceive instruction. In a recent class discussion, one student noted that combining the Vander Weele Curriculum Materials Center and DeJong Center for Special Education testifies to belief that all students are created in God’s image and should be seen as valuable and worthy of inclusive education.

The De Jong Center for Special Education

The De Jong Center is a partnership between Trinity and Elim Christian Services, a ministry that exists to equip people with disabilities to achieve their God-given potential by offering person-centered services and partnering with their communities.

The mission of the Center for Special Education is to prepare current and future teachers with the highest quality instruction and training to develop fully the God-given potential of individuals with special needs.

It is named in honor of the College’s first president Alexander De Jong, Ph.D., who served from 1966-68.

The Vander Weele Curriculum Center

The mission of the Curriculum Center is to support the Education Department and Adult Studies Education programs by providing educational materials for the use of teachers in training.

The center is named in honor of Ed Vander Weele, who served the College in a variety of roles including dean of students and education professor.