Aggie ACHIEVE (Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences) is a four-year inclusive post-secondary opportunity for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who have exited high school. Aggie ACHIEVE provides an inclusive and immersive college education and equips students for employment in the community. Aggie ACHIEVE aligns coursework, internship opportunities, and extracurricular activities with each student’s academic interests and employment goals. Students reside in Texas A&M residence halls and have access to all campus-related activities.
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Aggie ACHIEVE will provide an inclusive and immersive college education for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and equip them for employment in the community.
– Dr. Carly Gilson, Assistant Professor of Special Education
Aggie ACHIEVE will be Texas’ first inclusive, four-year, post-secondary opportunity for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Each student’s program of study are individually designed through a comprehensive, collaborative process called person-centered planning, where each student and their family member(s) meet with a staff member to design individualized goals. Faculty will work with ACHIEVE staff to develop a modified syllabus and Independent Learning Agreement to set expectations and assignments.
In the first two years, students are introduced into college life through weekly seminars focused on independent living, career awareness, and self-determination. Beginning in the spring of their first year, students will participate in on-campus internships each week to prepare for inclusive employment.
The last two years of Aggie ACHIEVE will focus more on career development and field specialization, including opportunities for off-campus paid internships in a student’s field of interest. Students will have the opportunity to venture off-campus to work in a setting more directly aligned with their chosen field of specialization. In preparation for the final year of Aggie ACHIEVE, students will work closely with the Job Developer to identify relevant, inclusive employment opportunities locally or in their hometown.
Students in Aggie ACHIEVE will have access to campus and community life mirroring that of their peers on campus. They have the opportunity to:
- Participate in approximately five hours of inclusive TAMU coursework per semester, including courses related to academics, physical education, and orientation to college.
- Pursue active membership in clubs and student organizations.
- Participate in orientation events and campus programs.
- Develop lifelong relationships with faculty, staff, and peers on campus.
Aggie ACHIEVE is housed within the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Development, and is also affiliated with the Center on Disability and Development, a nationally recognized University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
About the Aggie ACHIEVE Experience
Prospective students for Aggie ACHIEVE should meet the following criteria:
- Completed high school and no longer receiving support from the school.
- Documented disability diagnosis of intellectual disability; received special education services in high school with an IEP.
- Demonstrate ability to communicate (not limited to verbal speech) reliably with staff, faculty, and mentors.
- Demonstrate at 3rd grade reading level in comprehension and fluency.
- Demonstrate ability to function independently for a sustained period of time (e.g. able to sit through 90-minute courses and function independently for 1-hour blocks of time, including navigating campus independently).
- Demonstrate basic mathematics understanding and ability to use a calculator.
- Express desire and motivation to complete a postsecondary education program.
- Express desire to attain a job in an inclusive employment setting upon completing Aggie ACHIEVE.
- Demonstrate sufficient emotional and independent stability to participate in all aspects of the Aggie ACHIEVE coursework and campus environment.
- Be able to handle and adapt to change; not overly stressed when schedules or people change.
- Have proof of health insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, private).
- Serve as own guardian (financial and medical guardianship is permissible).
- Must be able to independently self-administer and manage medication and specialized dietary needs.
- Demonstrate the ability to navigate campus safely (e.g. crossing streets and parking lots independently).
How long does a student stay in Aggie ACHIEVE?
Aggie ACHIEVE is a total of four years. In the first two years, students are introduced to college life through weekly seminars focused on independent living, career awareness, and self-determination. Beginning in the spring of their first year, students will participate in on-campus internships each week to prepare for inclusive employment.
The last two years of Aggie ACHIEVE will focus more on career development and field specialization, including opportunities for off-campus paid internships in a student’s field of interest. In preparation for the final year, students will work closely with the Job Developer to identify relevant, inclusive employment opportunities locally or in their hometown.
Aggie ACHIEVE Applications
Applications will be posted on our website on October 1, 2019. We follow the application deadlines set by Texas A&M University. Therefore, our deadline is December 1st by 11:59PM (CST).
Visiting Texas A&M and Aggie ACHIEVE Open House
We really encourage people who are interested in coming to visit Aggie ACHIEVE to sign up for an open house in the fall or spring. Please note that the open houses scheduled for the fall are intended for prospective applicants for fall 2020. If you are interested in applying for a later year, we will have more open houses in the spring.
What if I can't make open house?
No problem! We will host a webinar so that you can learn all about Aggie ACHIEVE from a distance. We will present the same information in the webinar as we do during open house. The live webinar will be hosted on November 8th at 9am to 11am. Please check back here to sign-up to attend the live webinar. It will also be recorded and posted on our website to watch at anytime.
Aggie ACHIEVE Tuition and Fees
Aggie ACHIEVE support fees and TAMU fees per semester:
- Designated Academic Fee: $891
- University Advancement Fee: $515
- Health Center Fee: $75
- Rec Sports Fee: $106
- Student Center Fee: $100
- Aggie ACHIEVE Support Fee: $8,563
Please refer to Student Business Services for further explanation of tuition and fees.
In addition, students will have to pay for on-campus housing and meal plans; rates vary per year. Housing and a mid-grade meal plan is estimated arounf $10,000 per year. Visit Texas A&M Residence Life for more information about housing and University Dining for meal plan information.
Please note that during year four, the cost may fo down depending on the student’s employment and living needs.
At this time, we cannot offer financial aid but we are applying for a federal designation that will allow us to offer need-based aid beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year.
Is this available at other Texas A&M campuses?
At this time, Aggie ACHIEVE is only available at the main Texas A&M campus in College Station.
Is there a summer program?
No, Aggie ACHEVE is currently only a fall/spring semester program.
More information about postsecondary educational opportunities
ThinkCollege is a great resource for youth with disabilities and their families to explore for other postsecondary programs that are available.
Other postsecondary education opportunities for students with IDD at Texas A&M
The PATHS Certificate Program is a program offered at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University that will prepare graduates to be Direct Support Professionals, Para-Professionals or Child Care Professionals. This two-semester certificate program prepares graduates for employment in a career serving people with disabilities or working with children. Find out more about PATHS.
Aggie ACHIEVE Open House
If you are interested in learning more about Aggie ACHIEVE and whether it would be right for you and your family, please attend an open house event. Open house is a great way to visit with Aggie ACHIEVE, learn more about admission requirements, and be able to talk with current students and staff. Open houses will be held on Fridays and will be 8:30am to 12:30pm.
Open houses will have limited space. Therefore, the open houses below are for prospective parents/students for enrollment in fall 2020. We will have more open houses listed for the spring for future families, students, and professionals to attend. Thank you for understanding.
Please register for only one of our open house dates:
If you can’t make it to College Station for an open house, you can receive the same information by attending or watching our live webinar. This will allow you to learn about Aggie ACHIEVE and Texas A&M from a computer anywhere in the country. We will present the same information in the webinar as we do during open house. The live webinar will be hosted on November 8th at 9am to 11am. Please check back here to sign-up to attend the live webinar. It will also be recorded and posted on our website to watch at anytime.