A Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program approved by the U.S. Department of Education
Applications for 2021-2022 cohort are due by March 1, 2021.
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
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 activities.
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 1 Academic Course as well as 1 Kinesiology Lab Course to take 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.
Participants in our program will:
Socialize with typical college peers
Improve communication skills in order to better communicate within the workplace
Receive functional as well as academic instruction that will better prepare them to become independent individuals within their community
Develop employment skills necessary to become a successful employee so that they will be able to be self-supportive
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 $3,000 per semester. As a comprehensive transition and post-secondary program approved by the United States Department of Education, Pell Grants and other scholarships are available to those who apply and are eligible.
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
(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
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.
Dr. Gerlinde Beckers