Reflecting our tagline “Life is a journey. Be prepared for the trip”, our program’s goal is for Destination Dawgs graduates to have gained new knowledge, skills, and competencies which lead to a rewarding adult life.
WHO: Students with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 18 -25 who have a personal desire - and support from family- to gain skills for self-determination, independent living, and career development at the University of Georgia.
WHAT: Completion of the program will result in a UGA Certificate in College and Career Readiness from the UGA Center on Continuing Education bearing +/- 100 continuing education units. Student competency and accomplishments will be recorded in an electronic portfolio.
WHEN: Four (15 week) semesters starting in the Fall (August) semester following a prerequisite Summer Leadership Institute for invited applicants. Semesters follow the UGA academic calendar.
HOW: The Destination Dawgs team will utilize the Students Transitioning to Adult Roles (STAR) Person-Centered Planning (PCP) model to facilitate goal setting and to track progress across five domains: Career Development and Employment, Academic Enrichment, Campus & Community Engagement, Building Independence, and Self-Determination. Each semester students will engage in four program domains:
- Academic Courses
- Students will be included in foundational courses offered through the Division of Academic Enhancement (UNIV courses) to increase the student's capacity for college success, in Directed Study courses (IHDD 3010) for individualized support, and in courses offered by UGA that align with the individual student's vision and career goals. Students will attend UGA courses with permission of department /instructor and satisfactory academic progress will be assessed each semester.
- Work-based Experiential Learning
- A minimum of three semesters of work-based experiential learning related to the student’s career goal is required. These experiences can be paid or unpaid and may include employment-focused learning opportunities both on and off-campus. Time spent in work-based experiential learning settings will increase over the course of the third, and fourth semesters.
- Social and Campus Involvement
- Our goal is for the experiences of our students to be comparable to those of other undergraduates at UGA. All students will have a UGA student ID and access to auxiliary services. With the support of peer mentors, students will identify campus activities he or she is interested in pursuing; determine how to balance social and academic life; and foster friendships.
- Building Independence
- Students may participate in campus service activities, student organizations, health and wellness seminars, workshops, and counseling. Students will also eat lunch each day with peer mentors, learn to navigate the UGA bus system, and are encouraged to direct their own daily schedules.