Program of Study

UI REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) is a transition certificate program for college students with disabilities, such as autism, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities. The program prepares young adults to become independent and contributing members of the community. Coursework, campus life, and career experiences help students to reach their full potential.

The UI REACH experience integrates academic enrichment, career development, student life, and transition to create a dynamic collegiate opportunity. A few of the program offerings include:

  • integrated, Big Ten University experience with on-campus residence hall living;
  • individualized weekly advising with professional staff;
  • specialized core curriculum delivered by quality College of Education instructors;
  • inclusive academic learning opportunities including traditional classes for credit or audit;
  • employment preparation and career development;
  • community-based internships and employment opportunities with local businesses;
  • access to over 500 student organizations and numerous inclusive campus activities;
  • on-call emergency 24-hour support;
  • scholarships and other financial aid options;
  • a four-year certificate with second- and third-year certificate options; and
  • events around the country to reconnect for current students, alumni, and families.

For more information, visit the UI REACH website.

UI REACH Courses

REA:0010 Social Skills I 2 s.h.

Basic interpersonal skills needed to succeed in academic, social, and employment environments; structured learning process for gaining discrete social skills necessary to initiate and maintain conversations in a variety of settings; awareness of feelings and cues in conversation to respond appropriately and have successful reciprocal interactions; lectures, modeling, role play, and practice in the community.

REA:0020 Computers and Technology I 2 s.h.

Training in computer literacy and practical skills for computer use in everyday life; computer parts and functions, the Windows operating system, computer applications; use of the personal computer to improve personal, academic and workplace productivity; group discussion, demonstrations, and multimedia experience support diverse learning styles.

REA:0021 Computers and Technology II 2 s.h.

Builds on REA:0020; fundamental computer competencies and strategies to simplify everyday life and enhance workplace performance; opportunity to improve practical skills for the workplace, communication with others, and daily life; tools for improving personal organization and communication and for meeting academic, entertainment, and workplace needs; group discussion, demonstration, independent exploration, and a multimedia experience support diverse learning styles.

REA:0022 Assistive Technology Applications 1 s.h.

How to access and employ current assistive technology applications to support lifelong learning, academic skill building, vocational experiences, and independent community living; how functional assistive technology and adaptive tools can maximize personal achievement and independence for individuals of varied abilities; students explore and operate assistive technology tools including, but not limited to, text readers, voice-to-text, cognitive aids, and navigation.

REA:0030 Health and Wellness I - Exploration 2 s.h.

Importance of health and wellness, personal relationships, sexuality and making healthy choices; overview of health and wellness topics college students face—nutrition, substance use, risky behaviors, personal relationships, sexual health, mental health.

REA:0031 Health and Wellness II - Healthy Lifestyles 2 s.h.

Health and wellness personalized for students; help in assessing individual health and wellness decisions and behaviors to improve current and long-term health and wellness; small group discussion, individual assessments, real-life exploration, interactions with health educators, one-on-one student support; second in a series.

REA:0040 Personal Finance and Math I 2 s.h.

Understanding of numbers, operations, and managing personal finances; computation strategies, problem-solving strategies, skills for good consumers; opportunity to practice math skills in the community and the workplace; first in a series.

REA:0041 Personal Finance and Math II 2 s.h.

Skills and knowledge needed for managing personal finances; banking, budgeting, insurance, how to be a good consumer; students plan for their financial future by studying paycheck information, actual income, and tax responsibility; research on independent living costs; second in a series.

REA:0050 Lifetime Reading and Writing 2 s.h.

Enhancement of leisure reading; library visit to discover interesting genres, activities to review books, discussion of components (e.g., plot, characters); techniques of good readers; writing tools for success in daily living; writing forms including short organizational forms (e.g., to-do lists, grocery lists), family correspondence, business letters; observation and demonstration of writing techniques; use of writing as a form of self-expression, organization, and communication with others.

REA:0062 Social Skills II 2 s.h.

Continuation of REA:0010; more advanced relationship skills that require self-regulation; self-awareness; applying skills for communicating under stress; structured learning process including repetitive practice and modeling as key components.

REA:0070 Life Skills I - Transitions 2 s.h.

Components of successful independent and community living; personal safety issues, effective communication skills for interacting with peers and college personnel, how to access broad community resources for living, work, and leisure; students develop a plan for personal daily routines; classroom activities, practical experiences on campus and in the community.

REA:0072 Life Skills II - On Your Own 2 s.h.

Goal setting and planning for independent living after college; how to use daily living skills from college in students' planned home communities; skills required for finding and managing a home or apartment, using community resources and agencies, and meeting basic needs; how to be interdependent and independent in the community.

REA:0073 Life Skills III - Transition Planning 2 s.h.

Work on transition plan during spring semester of final year—goal setting and planning for independent living after college; how to use daily living skills from college in students' planned home communities; using community resources and agencies; meeting basic needs; how to be interdependent and independent in student's home community; identification of transition team members; plan and lead transition meeting.

REA:0074 Household Management II 3 s.h.

Continuation of REA:0075; preparation for independent apartment living; experiential training, assessment to determine support needs; apartment living, personal care, value shopping and budgeting, preparing meals, successful community living.

REA:0075 Household Management I 3 s.h.

Independent living skills introduced in the life skills and health and wellness courses; hands-on experience in room care, clothing care, food/kitchen safety, meal planning and nutrition, food preparation, simple recipes, grocery shopping, event planning.

REA:0076 Community Leisure and Advocacy 1 s.h.

Utilizing community resources while promoting self-advocacy and leadership; student support for transitioning from a university setting to community living; exploration of community resources related to recreation, entertainment, and independent living using multiple media sources for information gathering; field trips to investigate local resources; research related resources within students' home communities. Requirements: enrollment in UI REACH program.

REA:0078 Historical Documentary Making 2 s.h.

History of disabilities (learning and physical disabilities); ground work for making a historical documentary; desktop documentary software used by student teams to produce documentaries on history of disability rights movement. Requirements: enrollment in UI REACH program.

REA:0079 Service Learning 2 s.h.

Classroom-based learning combined with community service; available resources and ways to better a community; assessment of community needs, research volunteer organizations, service-learning opportunities within the community.

REA:0090 Current Events 1-2 s.h.

Forum to increase knowledge and ability to comment on current events; voting and political process, civic responsibilities in the local and federal elections process, how students can participate; use of various forms of media (i.e., print, broadcast, internet) to develop critical thinking skills related to awareness of current events and their impact; personal safety issues; effective communication skills for interacting with peers and college personnel.

REA:0100 Career Exploration 4 s.h.

Opportunity to explore, enhance, or broaden work interests, skills, and potential career opportunities; interest inventories, review of vocational experiences, interactive employer presentations, informational interviews, job site experiences; focus on self-assessment of one's individual vocational strengths.

REA:0101 Job Search Strategies 2 s.h.

Fundamental tools and techniques for getting a job; students create a résumé, including references and updated work history; interview techniques, information gathering, thank-you letters, work-related vocabulary, appropriate behaviors and attitudes for a successful job search; role playing, demonstrations, real-world practice.

REA:0103 Job Search Strategies II 2 s.h.

Continuation of REA:0101; update résumés, references, and cover pages; appropriate behaviors and attitudes for successful job search; seek and apply for jobs with assistance from instructor.

REA:0200 Business Support Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in business support; office procedures, word processing skills, oral and written communication, records management, business terminology.

REA:0202 Education Career Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in education; additional training typically required for careers in education, child/student needs, lesson planning.

REA:0203 Health Services Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in health services; office procedures and equipment, customer service skills, terminology used in health care environments.

REA:0204 Hospitality Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in hospitality; customer service skills, phone and counter etiquette, vocabulary used in the hospitality industry.

REA:0205 Human Services Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in human services; types of human services environments, interpersonal relationships and boundaries, paperwork requirements, terminology commonly used in human services environments.

REA:0207 Marketing/Sales Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in marketing and sales; customer service skills, use of retail equipment, marketing techniques and the importance of product appearance, pricing and advertising, vocabulary used in a retail sales environment.

REA:0208 Parks and Natural Resources Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in parks and natural resources management; operation and maintenance of equipment, safety procedures, customer service skills, typical vocabulary for positions involving care and management of shrubs, trees, flowers, and turf.

REA:0209 Skilled Trades Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in the skilled trades; occupational skill standards in specific skilled trades, apprenticeships or advanced training required, safety in the workplace, vocabulary typical for specific skilled-trade work environments.

REA:0210 Information/Technology Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in information technology; occupational skill requirements and standards, knowledge of typical equipment employees must operate, safety in the workplace, typical vocabulary for information technology work environments.

REA:0211 Culinary Arts Seminar 1 s.h.

Different types of careers in the food industry; workplace skills and tasks; continuing training and education options; equipment and food safety; basic preparation steps, food presentation, place settings; field trips. Requirements: enrollment in UI REACH program.

REA:0213 Recreation Seminar 1 s.h.

Aspects of careers in recreation, training and education requirements, tasks at work, and job prospects.

REA:0220 Digital Citizenship 2 s.h.

Making informed choices regarding media and technology in a digital age; exploration of media balance and well-being, online communication and relationships, privacy and security, and the impact of a digital footprint; responsible decision making and communication methods in an online world. Prerequisites: REA:0020.

REA:0250 Academics and Life Skills Exploration I 1-3 s.h.

Expand basic academic and/or life skills with discovery, experiential learning, progress monitoring, and self-reflection; focus on strengthening foundational skills in practical academics and life skills; first of a two-part series.

REA:0251 Academics and Life Skills Exploration II 1-2 s.h.

Builds on basic academic and/or life skills explored in REA:0250; UI REACH instructors and university faculty work together to enhance learning opportunities while providing explicit, interactive learning opportunities; progress monitoring, reflection, and focus on maintenance of basic academic and life skills; second of a two-part series.

REA:0252 Academics and Life Skills Enrichment I 1-3 s.h.

Broaden and diversify academic and student life experiences; address specific interest areas of students; focus on communication, relationships, academics, and independent life; individualize, extend, and provide depth to student's current level of knowledge and skills.

REA:0253 Academics and Life Skills Enrichment II 1-2 s.h.

Builds on extended and diversified learning opportunities provided in REA:0252; transfer of skills and knowledge to new situations and environments encountered as students transition to workplace and home communities.

REA:0300 Internship I - Prep arr.

Introduction to functional skills, job expectations, environments of the workplace; students venture out into the community and see first-hand what a specific career or job entails; role of the influencer; small groups, job shadowing, tryouts—depending on individual needs and abilities; create a résumé; summer job searching skills; preparation for Internship II—applications, interviews, contacting employers.

REA:0301 Internship II arr.

Internship experience leading to increased independence in the workplace (e.g., more independent operation of equipment, socialization, workplace safety, problem solving, conflict management); opportunity to acquire additional workplace skills in the student's career emphasis area; employers and mentors guide students in fulfilling their job responsibilities; students maintain a journal and discuss their experience with their advisor or instructor; second of three consecutive internships.

REA:0302 Internship III arr.

Internship experience with opportunities to develop more advanced skills for independent communication, problem solving, and workplace performance in the student's career emphasis area; employers and mentors observe the student in the workplace; students maintain a journal and discuss their experience with their advisor or instructor; third of three consecutive internships.

REA:0303 Internship IV arr.

Individualized community work experiences with periodic classroom seminars;  building independent work skills, such as researching bus routes and emailing weekly journals; students, instructors, and employers evaluate student's work performance.

REA:0304 Internship V arr.

Continuation of REA:0303; community work experiences with periodic classroom seminars; emphasis on work skills in student's career area of choice; soft skills needed to be an independent worker.

REA:0305 Advanced Internship arr.

Development of advanced workplace skills in time management, communication, problem solving, and performance; one or more internships individualized to meet needs for further workplace soft skill development; observation in workplace by instructors, employers and mentors; journaling and discussion of experience with UI REACH staff; tracking time via method that works for individual needs; internship experiences and classroom seminars; emphasis on work skills in any career area and soft skills needed to be an independent worker. Requirements: UI REACH fourth-year enrollment.

REA:0325 Computer and Technology Literacy I 2 s.h.

Self-paced course to improve personal, academic, and career computer literacy and skills; online learning modules and computer-based programs to increase computer skills; email and internet searching, online learning options, online banking and purchasing, Microsoft Office programs, and online career resources.

REA:0326 Computer and Technology Literacy II 2 s.h.

Self-paced course builds on skills learned in REA:0325; extends and provides depth to student's current level of skill; coursework focuses on enhancing personal, academic, and career computer literacy; group discussion, demonstration, independent exploration, and practice to further develop computer skills; email, online career resources, Google Drive, social networking, and budgeting.

REA:0501 Special Topics arr.

Topics include leisure resources, current events, science, family life, consumerism, community involvement, self-determination, self-advocacy, leadership, assistive technology, mentoring; course assignments, instruction, and student assessment in classroom and/or community settings; may be required or elective course.