New York, NY (January 15, 2009). , an inclusive four-year postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities. The College Transition Connection (CTC) is funding the development of this innovative model program, with financial support from the State of South Carolina. CTC Chair Donald A. Bailey announced that the grant will total $155,000 over three years. The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is providing technical assistance and grant administration.
William H. Alford, Chair of the CCU Board of Trustees, CCU President David A. DeCenzo, Senior Vice President and Provost Robert Sheehan, CCU faculty, CTC board members, NDSS representatives, and prospective students with disabilities and their parents were present when the program was announced today at an event on the Coastal Carolina University campus. Coastal Carolina University LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) is designed to promote a smooth and effective transition from secondary schools to a four-year higher education institution, as well as provide these postsecondary opportunities on a college campus.
"The innovative, collaborative design of Coastal Carolina University LIFE, strong support of the entire university community, leadership and funding from the College Transition Connection and State of South Carolina will result in tremendous new opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities in South Carolina and an outstanding model for the rest of the country", said Stephanie Smith Lee, NDSS Senior Policy Advisor.
The four-year program will provide both on and off-campus residential opportunities and participation in university classes with support. It will emphasize student independence and personal development, choice making, individualized work environments, communication skills, money skills, integration within the college community, and transition to an integrated work environment. Spadoni College of Education faculty members Emma Savage-Davis and Gayle Disney will co-lead the program.
The pilot cohort of up to six students will be admitted in August 2009 with up to six more students accepted each fall thereafter. The program will enable students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to address four key primary areas: (1) academic enrichment, (2) socialization, (3) independent living skills, and (4) competitive or supported employment.
Coastal Carolina University LIFE is supported by a partnership between CTC, NDSS, and the Center for Disability Resources at the University of South Carolina.
For more information visit: http://www.coastal.edu/cec/LIFEprogram.html
The National Down Syndrome Society is a nonprofit organization representing the more than 400,000 Americans who have this genetic condition. NDSS is committed to being the national leader in supporting and enhancing the quality of life, and realizing the potential of all people with Down syndrome. We demonstrate this commitment through our education, research and advocacy initiatives that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families. To learn more about NDSS, visit http://www.ndss.org.
About Coastal Carolina University
Coastal Carolina University is a dynamic, public, comprehensive liberal arts institution located in Conway, S.C., just minutes from the resort area of Myrtle Beach. The University offers baccalaureate programs to more than 8,000 students in 40 fields of study including acclaimed programs in marine science, resort tourism and professional golf management. Graduate programs include an MBA as well as master's degrees in education and coastal marine and wetland studies. For more information, visit http://www.coastal.edu.