Making history: Crossing Points students to graduate from University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa Magazine

Six University of Alabama students will make history Saturday during spring commencement ceremonies at Coleman Coliseum.
The six students are part of UA’s Crossing Points, a life skills program for students with intellectual disabilities. They will be the first students in the program, which originated in 2002, to graduate from the university.
During the College of Education’s graduation ceremony, which will include about a total of about 800 students, the group of six will walk across the coliseum stage with their peers and receive a Crossing Points Certificate in Occupational Studies.
“This is something that we have dreamt about for a really long time,” said Amy Williamson, program coordinator for Crossing Points.
“Having students that were fully-fledged University of Alabama students, living in the dorms, taking yoga classes, doing all the things that every other UA student does … It’s very exciting that finally, this population will be a part is is a part and will be a part of the graduating class of 2022,” Williamson said during graduation rehearsal Thursday at the coliseum.
The Crossing Points Certificate in Occupational Studies is a three-year, non-degree program offered to young adults with intellectual disabilities who want to have an inclusive college experience.
The occupational studies program has provided these students with a college experience that included taking UA classes, living in the UA residential communities, participating in internships and apprenticeships in the students’ desired career fields, and having access to all UA student clubs and organizations, including Greek organizations.
Maeghan DeLoach, 22,  said she and the other Crossing Points  students were aware of the historic impact they will make at UA by taking part in graduation.
“It is so exciting to be here … graduating is so much fun and celebrating with family and friends,” DeLoach said.
After graduating, DeLoach said she plans to move back home to Birmingham and pursue an internship in the sports field.
Also graduating alongside DeLoach is 23-year old, Colby Spangler who said he enjoyed the three-year Crossing Points certificate program because he was able to attend classes on campus while making a lot of friends during the process.
DeLoach and Spangler are both from Birmingham. The other Crossing Points students include Olivia Baker of Fairfax, Virginia, Davis Spain of Birmingham, Melissa Walker of Tuscaloosa and Jahlen Vaughn of Birmingham.
Williamson said inclusivity has been a vital part the Crossing Points program.
“We talk about a place to belong and we talk about making sure that everyone feels equitable and feels a part (of the university). And so this is one of those days where you know, that you realize that things are really changing, and that it’s really happening,” Williamson said.
“… Saturday will be the the first time that they’ll actually be a part of the graduation ceremony, which is a game-changer,” she said.
Crossing Points also has a program for students in Tuscaloosa city and county schools and a Summer Bridge program for students 19 and older who want to develop skills for pursuing postsecondary education. 
More information about the Crossing Points program is available online at
Reach Jasmine Hollie at


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