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Career, Independent Living and Learning Studies (CILLS)

Career, Independent Living and Learning Studies (CILLS)
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Career, Independent Living and Learning Studies (CILLS)
200 Prospect St.
University Center-Top Floor
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
icon name
Program Contact Domenico Cavaiuolo
Program Contact Email
Phone 5704223282
Website Program website

ESU's Career, Independent Living & Learning Studies (CILLS) program is sponsored by the College of Education, Department of Special Education & Rehabilitation, the Career Development Center and Conference Services. It is a three-year (non-degree) program where individuals with intellectual disabilities gain a college experience and develop skills to enhance their abilities to live and work within their communities. It is a stand-alone certificate program and not a degree program. The program includes academic enrichment, enhanced socialization, increased independent living skills. The series of training activities and experiences culminate in an internship of work-based learning and the ability to audit regular classes; this all leads to the outcome of independent living and competitive employment. ESU CILLS program is highly recognized for its high-quality model with proven success.

Individuals participating in ESU's CILLS program experience daily an inclusive learning environment in multiple settings. Participants share in classroom learning studies to help gain knowledge of relevant functional learning needs and have the opportunity to apply them within their residential component and campus and community experiences. Participants have mentors to guide them and to support them in completing assigned school work, participate in campus life activities as well as community experience off campus. Finally, they have full access to the university services such as the Recreation Center to join in inclusive intermural activities as well as cultural and sporting events that may be on campus. In summary the program participants are fully-immersed into the campus social and academic experiences with on-campus coursework that supports their goals.

Indivuduals live in off-campus houses with other program participants, with a house mentor in each house.  

Program information submitted a year or more ago

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program:
  • Have graduated or exited from high school
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 30
Deadline to apply to this program: December 15th for the following Fall semester
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-25
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $12000.00
Program fees: $1374.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? No
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Tuition Waivers
  • Local School District funds
  • Medicaid Waiver or Day Habilitation funds
  • Familes are working with their counties to obtain waiver-approved educational support services.

Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
More about course access:

Courses offered in the past include: Introduction to ART,  Radio Practium, Acting, Principles of Food and Beverage, Vocational Rehabilitation, Child Development, Introduction to Human Services, Health and Wellness and Strength Training, Tennis, Aerobics, Introduction to Athletic Training, Introduction to Exercise Science, Physical Conditioning, Fundamentals of Music, Introduction to Human Services, and Introduction to Multi-Media. 

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

During the first year, specific courses are designed to encourage independent living. Growth continues into the second and third years combining specific classroom instruction, internships and regular university classes for audit.

Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 10%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 90%
Additional information about career development and work experience:

A general certificate is offered.

Does this program have a working partnership with VR to provide funding, supports and/or services to students in the program? No
Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Specialized off campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes