Project STAGE (Students Transitioning to Academics and Gainful Employment) at Indian River State College supports students with intellectual disabilities and their families. Eligible students have the opportunity to engage in a full, college experience and with the goal of becoming competitively employed at the conclusion of the two-year program.
Project STAGE students participate in classes, clubs and organizations and campus events. They develop relationships with IRSC student mentors. Participants receive academic training, job-shadowing opportunities and employment internships while developing and strengthening competencies needed for independent living, self-advocacy and self-determination, employability (skills) and gainful employment, integration and inclusion in the (College) environment, and financial planning and money management.
Project STAGE students receive a scholarship, so there is no cost to enroll in the program.
Applicants for Project STAGE must meet required eligibility criteria.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Have a documented intellectual disability, as defined by an IQ of 70 or below, and/or demonstrated by other psychological evaluations.
- Have completed four (4) years of high school coursework with special diploma/standard diploma/standard diploma with access points.
- Have satisfactory attendance from previous schools.
- Have a desire to receive transition services in a college setting including an academic curriculum of college courses, meetings, group study sessions, mentorship, work experiences, student life activities, etc.
- Have exhibited a need and a desire for greater independence, and have parent/guardian support in the pursuit of independence.
- Be able to travel/navigate independently while on the College campus.
- Have transportation to and from the College campus, and be willing to learn alternative travel means, such as public transportation.
- Have a checking account that can be self-accessed and be receptive to learning financial management. If you do not have a checking account, you should be willing to open a checking account.
- Must possess or be willing to learn time management skills and be able to follow a schedule with/without accommodations.
- Have socially adaptive and responsible behaviors when left unsupervised, and have no noncompliance behavioral issues
- Be able to communicate with others effectively with/without accommodations and/or assistive technology.
- Have own cell phone. This is not provided by Project STAGE.
- Be able to maintain personal self-care and hygiene appropriately.
A completed Project STAGE application and appropriate documentation must be submitted as part of the application process. Students must also complete an IRSC student application online. Contact the Project STAGE Office for a student application packet.