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OLS Summer Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House

All OLS students are encouraged to volunteer during the summer.  Committing to a summer volunteer experience teaches students valuable real-life work skills as well as promotes community involvement.


Some OLS students volunteered at Ronald McDonald House on August 29th, 2014. They helped clean up the building while still having fun. Way to go, guys!

OLS on the Radio (Education Talk Radio)

OLS National Director, Marci Muhlestein, was recently interviewed by internet radio talk show host Larry Jacobs from Education Talk Radio. The interview included information about OLS on the Bellevue College campus and the replication of OLS on other college campuses. Stories of past students were told, plans for replicating on NWACC campus were discussed, and opportunities for other colleges to get involved were shared.


Way to represent OLS, Marci!


Click here to listen to Marci's Education Talk Radio blog!

OLS Presenting at AHEAD Conference July 2014

On July 16, 2014 Marci Muhlestein, OLS National Director, will be presenting at the National AHEAD Conference in Sacramento, CA. The conference will highlight best practices for disability resource administrators at colleges all around the United States. She will be sharing the success of OLS alumni, the specifics about the associate degree, and the process on how to collaborate to result in replication of OLS on other college campuses. This event is important because it will provide OLS with the opportunity to share information about the OLS program with professionals that are at the forefront of providing services to adults with disabilities on college campuses. It will provide them the opportunity to become involved at the ground level of replication. 



"I am excited to share OLS and our replication model with AHEAD conference attendees. I am hoping for multiple colleges to be inspired to begin their process of replication so that more adults with cognitive disabilities can benefit from an OLS college education." - Marci Muhlestein

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Congrats to graduating OLS class of 2014!

Congratulations to the graduating OLS class of 2014!!! The staff and faculty at OLS at Bellevue College is proud of these outstanding students and wish them success in their future endeavors.

Sarah Paulson Customer Service Award Winner: Karen Riley!

The OLS Customer Service and Office Procedures class presented the Sarah Paulson Exceptional Customer Service Award to Karen Riley, manager of Poppinjay’s Café on March 25, 2014. Throughout the quarter, the students in the Customer Service and Office Procedures class observed Bellevue College North Campus staff for Exceptional Customer Service Skills in the following areas: Creating a First Impression, Having the Right Attitude, Establishing a Rapport, and Making a Customer Feel Valued.

This award is named after a former OLS student, Sarah Paulson, who epitomized exceptional customer service by having a positive attitude and making everyone around her feel valued and respected.

Congratulations to Karen!

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Office Procedures Class Visits The Marriott Hotel

Office Procedures and Customer Service Class toured the Marriott Hotel -Redmond Town Center on March 19, 2014. The Marriott staff did an outstanding job of explaining and demonstrating how to deliver Exceptional Customer Service. The students were able to observe and ask questions to the employees working in the various departments in the hotel such as Front Desk, Operator, Housekeeping, Laundry, Engineering, Kitchen, and Restaurants. In addition, the Management Staff met with the students to give them an overview of the Hospitality Industry and answer specific employment questions regarding benefits and employment opportunities through the Marriott.  Two current OLS students are completing a 200 hour internship at the Marriott in the engineering/maintenance department and in the restaurant.

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OLS Visits Sizzleworks!

The OLS students in the Nutrition II visited Sizzleworks, a local cooking school in Bellevue.  There, they learned valuable skills with regard to preparing and cooking nutritious food and kitchen safety.  After preparation, they were able to sample their work! 

OLS Visits Microsoft!

On the 26th of February, the Computer Fundamentals class visited the Microsoft Visitors Center and learned how technology can be used to enhance the education process.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the spirit of serving others and giving back to our local community, the OLS students were busy doing a service project in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They were reminded of Dr. King's vision and mission and of the importance of giving back to their communities. They made about 20 fleece blankets to be donated to Seattle Children's Hospital. A group of OLS students delivered the semi-handmade blankets to Children's Hospital and the patients and volunteer staff were thrilled!


The OLS program emphasizes the importance of serving others in our community. There are many opportunities throughout our program for students to do service projects such as the blanket making project.



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Bellevue Fire Station #2 and OLS

On October 5th OLS 4th year students co-hosted the annual Bellevue Fire Department’s open house at Fire Station 2. The open house is for community members to learn about fire safety but this year OLS has worked with the fire department to make sure that the event was accessible for all people with disabilities to be able to fully participate. Each OLS 4th year student facilitated an activity that related to their career pathways.

WRCBAA Conference

Barbara Mullen, OLS Instructor and Student Life Coordinator presented at the Western Regional Council of Black American Affairs with a presentation called:


African American Students with Disabilities in Higher Education & Kujichagulia: Principals of Self-Determination


The session focused on helping African American students with disabilities disclose their disability, advocate for themselves via their campus DRC (disability resource center) and provide tangible strategies to educators to help students practice being self-determined thinkers. This was a valuable session for education professionals because AA students with documented disabilities tend to lack the advocacy skills needed to access campus resources. Advocating for their needs to all campus staff is paramount to their success in higher education. All faculty and staff (even those who are not in advising) should know common language to assist students of color with disabilities with becoming more self-determined thinkers and achievers. Given the statistical prevalence of student of color being identified with having a cognitive disability within the last ten years; this population will be entering institutions of higher education in large numbers (NLST,2005). Many will not receive the support they need. This workshop helped higher education professionals who interface with those students support them and taught them how to be self-determined and self-advocates.


Learn more about the event here.

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