The Coastal Carolina University LIFE™ program is a four-year, tuition-based, post-secondary education and transition program for young adults who have mild to moderate *intellectual disabilities as defined by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). The program is in its fourth year of operation. This cohort-structured program currently has eleven students enrolled and accepts six to eight students each year during Fall semester. LIFE™ facilitates and supports each student's inclusion within the campus community, both academically and socially, by utilizing natural campus supports and academic and social mentors. Successful completion of the program will provide students with the skills to pursue and obtain meaningful employment, as well as develop social skills necessary for success in the workplace.
Students in the LIFE™ program participate in person-centered planning to determine a focus for academic coursework that will support their career goals. They access the Office of Career Services to schedule a vocational evaluation that includes a variety of assessments and activities to help students identify the types of jobs they are most interested in pursuing. Students enroll in academic coursework that supports their interests, skills, and abilities and subsequently participate in a range of related work experiences including on- and off-campus internships, as well as courses that support communication, healthy living, and recreation and leisure.
Students are given the choice of living at home and commuting to campus daily (recommended during first year) or living on campus in a residence hall. A Residential Mentor is available to provide direct support to students living on campus. All LIFE™ students receive academic and social support through a structured mentoring program. LIFE™ students may participate in most campus activities, groups, or events that are open to other non-degree seeking students on campus, with the approval of the LIFE™ Program staff. Participation in a wide variety of extracurricular activities is encouraged; social mentors assist students in identifying activities and groups that match their interests and often accompany them to the events. Due to university policies, LIFE™ students are not allowed to participate in Greek life or varsity athletics.
*Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before the age of 18 (AAIDD).