Accessibility and Resource CenterEagle Connections
Eagle Connections is a postsecondary comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities. The program follows the mission of the College to provide a learning environment that prepares students for success in a global economy by offering higher education pathways, workforce opportunities and civic engagement experiences. The course of study includes career exploration and planning, personal development, internship and/or work experience, and social activities designed to promote gainful employment and increased independence.
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Eagle Connections offers the College-recognized Employment Credential, which is 33 credential units consisting of required core classes and electives chosen by the student based on their career interests within a pathway, or concentration. All courses are College-approved courses listed in the academic catalog. The program is designed for students to take 2 courses per semester with the goal of completing within 6 semesters, or 2-3 years. Please note that students do not take courses for academic credit and do not earn a transferable degree. Rather they receive credential credit for each course in pursuit of completing the Employment Credential.
Admission and Application
Applicants must have or meet the following criteria:
- A documented intellectual disability (ID) that impacts progression in a standard curriculum in pursuit of a postsecondary degree or certificate; (Students may have co-occurring disabilities.)
- Graduated with a high school diploma or high school equivalency (i.e. GED);
- Is at least 18 years old;
- Has employment and community participation as personal goals;
- Is capable of mobility on adult campuses, including transportation to and from campus;
- Displays a level of social maturity conducive to an adult environment (i.e. employment and educational settings);
- Has ability to maintain self-care and personal hygiene independently;
- Has a support system committed to collaborative partnership;
- Has a reliable means of communication.
Applicants must submit the following required documentation as applicable:
- Documentation of an Intellectual Developmental Disorder as defined by the DSM-V through professional documentation, such as an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 plan, psychological assessment, or physician evaluation (ID must be clearly stated)
- Copy of most recent summary of performance (SOP) and may also include most recent Vocational Rehabilitation plan;
- Proof of graduation/completion (i.e. high school transcript or GED);
- Eagle Connections application including three letters of recommendation, work/volunteer experience, and release forms.
- Student Application (PDF)
- Online Student Application
Applications can be submitted throughout the academic year, with a typical due date in early May prior to the admitting fall term. Once applications have been reviewed, qualified applicants will be contacted for a mandatory student and student’s support person(s) interview to determine admission into the program. If the program has reached capacity, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
As a TCC student, Eagle Connections students are eligible to participate in all TCC social clubs, organizations, and events and to utilize the Library, Learning Commons and Learning Specialists, gym, study rooms, Career Center, and faculty office hours. Extracurricular activities and campus involvement are highly encouraged as fun and important parts of the college experience. For a listing of campus engagement opportunities, visit the Student Life office in the Student Union or https://www.tcc.fl.edu/student-life/.
A typical semester consists of attending classes, on-campus study time, life skills sessions, and lunch and other social opportunities. Regular one-on-one meetings with program staff occur to establish and work towards person-centered planning goals through the Students Transitioning to Adult Roles (STAR) model. Students are also expected to spend time on their own studying and completing assignments. Students follow College policies including those for attendance, code of conduct, and accommodations.
Amanda Warren - Program Coordinator: oversees the mission and implementation of the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program at TCC. These responsibilities include student referrals and intake, hiring and supervising the program mentors, partnering with on-campus departments and community agencies, and submitting and maintaining records and reports.
“I enjoy working with students and encouraging their goals and independence. It is rewarding to see self-esteem, confidence, and skills develop and grow. I also enjoy traveling and spending time outside cycling, hiking, and kayaking."
Marisa Vaughn - Program Specialist: helps with the facilitation of academic, employability, social and life skills and the transition for students to internships and work experiences. Other responsibilities include evaluation, progress tracking and reporting, and administrative support.
“I served as a program mentor for three years and that experience allowed me to touch student lives as they navigated their academic journey to reach graduation and eventual job placement. I love motivating and working with students to better help them achieve their goals and learn essential skills needed for gainful employment. In my spare time, I immerse myself into the arts culture of Tallahassee through support and participation, plus I love to travel and I am a big fan of the Harry Potter franchise!”
Mentors are part-time staff, work study students, or interns who act as positive role models for the students and help them navigate new responsibilities that come with being a college student. They may accompany students to class and exams; serve as an on-campus study partner; help students navigate TCC campus and resources; and share time together during lunch and on-campus events. Mentors undergo an application process, background check, interview, and training aligned with the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Mentor Training Program Certification (IMTPC). Mentors are not tutors, personal aids, faculty or parent liaisons, or counselors. Keep in mind that it is the full responsibility of the student to complete and submit their own assignments and exams for successful course completion.
Hear from some of our Mentors:
“Mentoring in the Eagle Connections program is a privilege that truly makes a lasting and positive impact on the lives of students with intellectual disabilities. [It] has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life thus far.”
“I believe I have contributed to this program by providing our students with constant encouragement, patience, and establishing their own self-determination amongst other things.”
Program Specialist helps with the facilitation of academic, employability, social and life skills, including the coordination of student internships.
Student Accessibility Advisors work within the Student Accessibility Services Office, Advising Specialists help students optimize their educational experiences with a cohesive progression towards achieving their full potential and register students for courses during early registration periods.
In addition, the program relies on the team effort of departments across campus including the Career Center, Student Life office, Student Accessibility Services, Student Services, Academic Affairs, faculty members and deans, and others. We also partner with community agencies like Vocational Rehabilitation, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Big Bend Transition Council, Leon County Schools, Keys to Exceptional Youth Success, FSU and FSU CARD, and others.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities: http://apdcares.org/
Big Bend Transition Council: https://www.leonschools.net/Page/927
Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities: www.fcsua.com
Florida Consortium of Inclusive Higher Education: www.fcihe.com
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc: www.fddc.org
Think College: www.thinkcollege.net
Vocational Rehabilitation: http://www.rehabworks.org/