Transition and Career Studies (TCS), a new Georgian Court University inclusive education program for students with intellectual disabilities, is well underway. Curriculum is approved, staff are hired, residential living plans are complete, and faculty are being trained. The first few students are already enrolled, too, says program director Susan E. O. Field, Ph.D.
Last fall, Georgian Court University was awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant for the program through the federal Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. For qualified students, TCS provides an opportunity to learn in college classrooms, live on the GCU campus, and engage with typically enrolled students through clubs, sports, and campus events. At the end of four years, successful TCS students receive a Board of Trustees-approved certificate of completion.
“Students with intellectual disabilities who complete college-based programs like ours are more likely to be gainfully employed than those who do not,” says Dr. Field, a GCU professor of psychology. “They’re more likely to live independently. We want them to grow intellectually, but we also want them to grow socially. And we want them to develop vocational skills and to identify and obtain not just a job, but a career.”
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