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Revista Electrónica Educare

On-line version ISSN 1409-4258Print version ISSN 1409-4258


FONTANA HERNANDEZ, Angélica  and  SANCHEZ LEON, Marcela. Student Assistance in Addressing Educational Needs: A Strategy of Quality Education Project of Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. Educare [online]. 2013, vol.17, n.2, pp.31-53. ISSN 1409-4258.

The Quality Education Project of the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (UNA Educación de Calidad) was created in 1998 as a direct response channel for students with disabilities or educational needs in their professional training. Considering the experience generated throughout the project’s activity at the  University in 2008 and  2010, the  project team  decided  to evaluate  the  work that had  been  developed with the  assistance  of a group  of students, in order  to identify the  results of services provided  and make the appropriate changes. This process was implemented through workshops, which enabled  the group to observe the performance of each participant, individually and  collectively, at different times. During the  workshops, group  work guides  were used  in the discussion sessions on educational  needs  and assistance methods, an instrument  with incomplete phrases  was applied, a video on the  issue being  discussed  was shown, and  a final analysis was made  on the feelings and emotions  that emerged from the assistance activities. Among the main findings, this study points out a range of assistance methods developed by each student to respond to the  educational  needs  of his/her  peers, based  on the  personal  and  social conditions  of each one of them; in addition  to a number  of spaces created for exchange  and interaction. This helped both groups of students  to work in the reconstruction of the traditional concept  that is associated to the  term of “disability” and further  develop personal  abilities and skills that  will contribute  to the students’ permanence in the university, as well as to their social and labor inclusion. The study provides useful recommendations to meet the needs of the student  population  participating in the Project, particularly in terms of follow-up and assistance methods, a challenge to be undertaken in the everyday activity of UNA Educación de Calidad

Keywords : Assistance methods; educational needs; comprehensive development; inclusive education.

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