Lions Connected

Lions COnnected Banner

A Comprehensive Transition and PostSecondary Program approved by the U.S. Department
of Education

A member of Louisiana Alliance of Postsecondary Inclusive Education


Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are due by March 1, 2024.


The mission of Lions Connected (LC) is to provide young adults with Intellectual Disabilities
(ID) an inclusive college experience while preparing them to become contributing members of

 About Us

Lions Connected courses, combined with college-level courses, are centered around
the practice of “learning by doing”. As students in the LC program prepare for a career
they love, we work closely with each student to customize their courses and college
experience. Academic mentors accompany each LC student every step of the way. They
help the LC students learn to navigate the complexities of campus life. Social Mentors
are available to enrich interpersonal skills and relationships through extracurricular

The entire program is driven by the importance of inclusion of students. LC students
learn functional, social, academic, and employment skills needed to be successful
individuals in society. Each semester, LC students audit one Academic Course as well
as one Kinesiology Lab Course while on campus. LC students also participate in a functional
Life Skills Program. During the final semester of the program, LC students have the
opportunity for supported employment

LC Tailgate


Participants in our program will:

  1. Socialize with typical college peers

  2. Improve communication skills in order to better communicate within the workplace

  3. Receive functional as well as academic instruction that will better prepare them to
    become independent individuals within their community

  4. Develop employment skills necessary to become a successful employee so that they will
    be able to be self-supportive

Shelby, Talynn, and Emma

Mentoring Services

Academic and Social Mentors are with each LC student every step of the way. The Mentors
are there to ensure that LC students are fully engaged on campus. Academic Mentors
attend class with our LC students, help with class assignments, and provide homework
support. Social Mentors hang out with our LC students while enjoying lunch in the
Student Union, during campus events, or by playing sports and/or exercising in the
Pennington Center. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, please apply HERE!



The Lions Connected program offers a 2-year and a 4-year curriculum. The curriculum incorporates functional, academic, communicative, social, and employment skills as well as goals for LC students. The current program fee for students is equivelant to current Pell Funding. As a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program approved by the United States Department of Education, Pell Grants and other scholarships are available to those who apply and are eligible.

Drew and Cleveland


There are many benefits associated with Lions Connected program. Students in the Lions
Connected Program receive social and employment skills that will allow them to be
successful in the workforce. Students also learn functional skills that will help
them become more independent, decision making members of society.


In order to be selected for the Lions Connected program, potential students must meet
the following qualifications:

The student must:
• have a Career Diploma from their high school (not eligible for traditional admission
to University)
• be between 18-25 years of age
• display appropriate University and classroom behavior (i.e. no behavior plans addressed
through IEPs)
• manage basic self-care skills such as toileting, eating, dressing, personal hygiene
• demonstrate a commitment to work and a desire for personal independence
• demonstrate the following skills: basic math/counting skills, basic reading and
writing skills and the ability to operate a calculator
demonstrate the ability to conduct a successful personal interview independently from
outside prompting by a parent or guardian



Student Admission Application

(Deadline March 1st)

Application Documents Required:

Completed Lions Connected Application
Copy of State Issued Identification
Copy of High School Exit Document
Copy of Medical Diagnosis
Copy of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Educational Evaluation

If you would like to request additional information, please email us at [email protected] or check out our Facebook page to see what we’re up to.


Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarship

Eligibility and Criteria for the Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarship:

  • This grant is for individuals with Down syndrome who are 18 years of age or older.
  • Desire and intent to enroll or continue enrollment in a class or program that will
    enhance your life through employment, independent living or life skills, or interests
    in any other areas.
  • Provide high school transcripts or equivalent (certificate of completion).
  • Individuals who were previously awarded a Ruby’s Rainbow scholarship are not eligible
    to apply for another scholarship the following year, but may reapply again two years later

       Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarship Application


Dr. Gerlinde Beckers
[email protected]

(985) 549-3030


Dr. LaVerne Traylor
Program Coordinator
[email protected]

(985) 549-3637


Lion’s Connected mail: SLU Box 10671, Hammond, LA 70402


Related Programs

Department of Teaching & Learning

Speech – Language – Hearing Clinic

Louisiana Alliance of Post-Secondary Inclusive Education