Aggie ACHIEVE (Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences) is a four-year inclusive higher education program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to expand their interests and prepare for employment in the community. Aggie Achieve students will live on campus, participate in TAMU classes, join clubs and organizations, prepare for inclusive employment, and integrate fully into student life at Texas A&M University. Peer supports called ACHIEVEmates are current TAMU students that will help students accomplish the goals of the program and build relationships with them. This program is the first of its kind in Texas and is set to have its first cohort start in Fall 2019.
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
Young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities likely share the same aspirations as their peers without disabilities, including attending college. Young people with IDD miss powerful learning experiences when college is out of their reach.
Aggie ACHIEVE will be Texas’ first inclusive, certificate-based, four-year postsecondary education program with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Aggie ACHIEVE is designed to serve young adults who recently completed high school and received special education services under the diagnosis of intellectual disability. This program will recruit students whose goal is to attend college and who are interested in being employed within their community.
Aggie ACHIEVE students will have access to campus and community life mirroring that of their peers at Texas A&M University. They will be able to:
- Pursue active membership in clubs and student organizations that align with their interests.
- Be part of orientation events and campus programs.
- Have the traditionally available supports of their peers.
These students will also gain new, lifelong relationships with faculty, staff and peers on campus.
Transforming the Future
Aggie ACHIEVE will expand opportunities for Texas A&M students to form sustained relationships and shared experiences with individuals with IDD and provide a foundation for a more inclusive campus community.
Offering an inclusive program such as Aggie ACHIEVE holds great promise for both those with IDD and Texas A&M students who will go on to key corporate, community and civic leadership roles around the country after graduation.