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Student and his service dog earn graduate degrees

Thursday, September 5, 2013
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Student and his service dog earn graduate degrees
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Just because someone is hard of hearing or has trouble seeing does not mean he or she cannot go to graduate school. Those who doubt this statement need only look at data from the National Center for Education Statistics, which shows that during the 2007-2008 academic year, 7.6 percent of graduate and first-professional students reported having a disability.

If this is not enough proof that disabilities do not have to stand between individuals and advanced degrees, Carlos Mora's story should serve as an effective example. Mora earned a Master of Science in Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University School of Education this past spring, The Huffington Post reported. However, he did not do it alone, as his service dog, Kirsch, was by his side at every class.

As Kirsch put in as much time in the classroom as his owner, the studious canine was awarded an honorary master's degree. Fortunately, Kirsch did not have to pay for it, as school officials were quick to point out during the May 2013 graduation ceremony.

While the master's degree will be more useful to Mora than Kirsch, the pair's story is an inspiring one for anybody with a disability. Mora proves that having a disability does not have to interfere with achieving one's academic goals.

By Monique Smith

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Queens College
Queens College offers more than 100 master's degrees and advanced certificates in the liberal arts, sciences, social sciences, and teacher education.
www.qc.cuny.edu