Eagle Connections

Program Overview

Eagle Connections is a postsecondary comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities. The program follows the mission of the College and provides a course of study that 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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Academics

Eagle Connections offers the Employment Credential, which is 33 credential units consisting of required core courses and electives chosen by the student based on their career interests within a College pathway. Courses are inclusive and are outlined on the Advising Sheet. 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 take courses on an audit basis and do not receive academic credit or a transferable degree. Rather they receive credential credit for each course in pursuit of completing the Employment Credential. 

Employment Credential Advising Sheet

Admission and Application

Applicants must have or meet the following criteria: 

  1. 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.) 
  2. Graduated with a high school diploma or high school equivalency (i.e. GED); 
  3. Is at least 18 years old;  
  4. Has employment and community participation as personal goals;  
  5. Is capable of mobility on adult campuses, including transportation to and from campus;  
  6. Displays a level of social maturity conducive to an adult environment (i.e. employment and educational settings); 
  7. Has ability to maintain self-care and personal hygiene independently;  
  8. Has a support system committed to collaborative partnership; 
  9. Has a reliable means of communication. 

Applicants must submit the following required documentation as applicable:    

  1. 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.)
  2. Copy of most recent summary of performance (SOP) and may also include most recent Vocational Rehabilitation plan; 
  3. Proof of graduation/completion (i.e. high school transcript or GED);
  4. Eagle Connections application including three letters of recommendation, work/volunteer experience, and release forms.

If interested in applying, please contact the program. 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. 

Campus Life

As a TCC student, Eagle Connections students are eligible to participate in TCC social clubs, organizations, and events and to utilize the Library, Learning Commons and Learning Specialists, Counseling Center, Career Center, gym, and faculty office hours. Campus engagement is highly encouraged as an important part of the college experience.  For campus 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 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 from Project 10 Transition Education Network. Students are also expected to spend time on their own studying and completing assignments. Students follow College policies for attendance, code of conduct, and accommodations.

Student Supports

Eagle Connections 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. 

Eagle Connections Program Specialist: helps with the facilitation of academic, employability, social, and independent living skills, and the transition for students to internships and work experiences. Other responsibilities include evaluation, progress tracking and data collection, reporting, training, and administrative support.

Peer Mentors: act as positive role models for students and help them navigate new responsibilities that come with being a college student. Mentors undergo an application process, background check, interview, and training aligned with the College Reading and Learning Association standards. 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.   

"Working for Eagles Connections has been an absolutely wonderful experience that has brought me many valuable opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. I am so grateful to have been a part of this program; there will always be a special place in my heart for the coworkers and students I had the privilege to work with." – Naomy, peer mentor

“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.” – Brittany, program intern

In addition, the program relies on the team effort of departments across campus including Student Accessibility Services, Career Center, Student Services, Academic Affairs, faculty members and deans, and others. Partnerships include community agencies like Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Big Bend Transition Council, Leon County Schools, Keys to Exceptional Youth Success, Vocational Rehabilitation, and others.   

Resources 

Agency for Persons with Disabilities: apdcares.org

Big Bend Transition Council: 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  

Keys to Exceptional Youth Success: www.keysbigbend.org

Project 10 Transition Education Network: project10.info

Think College: www.thinkcollege.net 

Vocational Rehabilitation: www.rehabworks.org

Contact Us

General Information: 

Program Staff:

 Amanda Warren photo

Amanda Warren, Eagle Connections Program Coordinator 
warrena@tcc.fl.edu | (850) 201-8432

Amanda obtained a Master's in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida. She has experience working in advising, youth development, program management, and community relations. Amanda enjoys working with students, encouraging their goals and independence, and offering guidance as they develop and grow in confidence, capabilities, and character. 

Marisa photo

Marisa Hasty, Eagle Connections Program Specialist
hastym@tcc.fl.edu | (850) 201-8479 

Marisa obtained a Bachelor's in Strategic Communication with a minor in Marketing from Flagler College - Tallahassee. She served as a peer mentor from 2016-2019, helping students navigate their academic journey to reach graduation. She is passionate about motivating and working with students to better help them achieve their goals and learn essential skills needed for gainful employment and self-advocacy.