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DREAM Program

DREAM Program
Mercer County Community College
DREAM Program
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 8550
Program Contact Susan Onaitis
Program Contact Email
Phone 609-570-3375
Website Program website

Mercer County Community College's DREAM Program provides transition and postsecondary program opportunities for students whose limitations in both intellectual and adaptive behavior require significant additional supports to navigate the postsecondary environment. Upon successful application and acceptance to the program, identified students, ages 17-25, have the opportunity to reach individual goals in an inclusive and supportive college setting. All students are required to participate in courses that are uniquely designed for students in the DREAM Program, as well as Mercer County Community College (MCCC) general course offerings. Students register for college courses based on placement and may be permitted to audit classes in areas of interest. All students develop a MCCC transcript and have the opportunity to earn credits towards a MCCC certificate or degree. Students work closely with program staff each semester to identify and evaluate goals, build schedules, arrange for mandatory job shadowing experiences, and identify existing community supports. Participation in the DREAM program is generally limited to four semesters. Students who have achieved satisfactory academic progress throughout the four semesters and continue to have an identified goal may apply to continue with the DREAM Program for an additional fee. Other students may continue to pursue academic or vocational goals by taking credit or non-credit classes at MCCC but will no longer be eligible to receive the significant additional supports offered through the DREAM Program.

Program information submitted: January 30, 2023

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 2-year community college or junior college
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: 50
Program serves students who have left high school? Some of our students have left high school
Deadline to apply to this program: May 30
Criteria for admission
  • Student must be 18 or older
  • Age range: 18-24 at admission
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 90.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 93.00%
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $2500.00
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $3000.00
Program fees: $1500.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? We are not a CTP, and have no plans to become one.
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Local School District funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
Scholarships available:

DREAM Program scholarship of $1011, divided across fall and spring semesters for eligible students ( must have completed one year of program with Satisfactory Academic Progress) and have a completed FAFSA application indicating unmet need)

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

Students register for college courses based on placement and may be permitted to audit classes in areas of interest. All students develop a MCCC transcript and have the opportunity to earn credits towards a MCCC certificate or degree. In-class and homework support is provided by trained, paid mentors.

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

The DREAM Program offers two classes uniquely designed for DREAM students:

  • STU 090 / Transition to College (50 minutes, one day/week): A class for new students, includes development of college-related skills: understanding expectations of college, working with mentors, developing self-advocacy skills, accessing resources, using technology and discovering and understanding learning styles. Through participation in mini-lessons, role-play, journaling, and individual and team projects and presentations, students develop vital skills and build community. In semesters Two through Four, STU 090 is an academic skill-building class, with mini lessons and practice in skills such as note-taking and time management.
  • STU 023 / Career Exploration (50 minutes, one day/week): New and continuing students explore multiple aspects of career development, career assessment, development of transferable skills, the job search, resume development, interview skills and virtual job shadowing/internships.
Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 75-99%
Do all students in this program enroll in at least one inclusive college/university course for credit or audit each semester? Yes
Other than the credential listed above, can students earn any other credentials that are available to all students?

MCCC certificate or Associate's degree awarded for students who complete all required courses for that certificate or degree.

Students in the program have access to the following campus-wide services:
  • Career services
  • Disability/accessibility services
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Access to a transcript via the registrar
  • Academic advising services (not program staff)
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 60%
Other career development activities are:
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
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: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 100%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities
  • Registered student organizations
  • Student government
  • Club sports
  • Campus events
Students participate in these campus-wide events:
  • College/University's Student orientation
  • College/University's Graduation