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DREAM Program

DREAM Program
Mercer County Community College
DREAM Program
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550
Program Contact Susan Onaitis
Phone 609.570.3375

The DREAM program is student-centered, which means that each student’s course of study is determined by the student’s goals and needs. Areas of study include:  academic experiences, in which students build their skills in reading, writing and math and explore areas of interest such as cooking, computer skills and the arts; career-related experiences, in which students explore jobs through service learning, job shadowing and internships, as well as develop job-seeking skills such as resume writing, interviewing, and portfolio development; Independent living experiences, such as money management and personal safety; and socialization experiences, such as joining clubs and organizations and participating in other college activities. Self-advocacy skill development is infused through the entire experience.

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: 40
School district or agency partner: N/A
Deadline to apply to this program: Applications are accepted beginning February 1 for admission consideration for the following fall seemster.
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • 18-25
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 75%
Retention rate: 100%
Cost of the program:

Tuition is based on number of credits and varies by students' county/state of residence. There is a program fee charged each semester to cover the costs of supports the students receive, such as the mentors.

Additional costs:

There is a cost for books and supplies; these costs vary depending  on courses selected for each semester.

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:

A few students receive scholarships upon high school graduation that they apply to their tuition bill.

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

There are two one-credit classes which are required and are  exclusively for students in the program:

1. Career Exploration, which  stacked in three levels- the first level is an introduction  to the world of work and getting to know one's value system and preferences as workers, the second level includes  project-based activities that focus on transferalbe skills and the third level is a career seminar for students who are working in either paid positions in the community or volunteer positions in the community.

2. Introduction to Student Success focuses on transition to college, the use of mentor and tutor supports and self-advocacy .

Classroom/academic time spent only with other students in this program: Less than 25% of the time
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 25%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
We offer the following specialized credentials:


Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: Less than 25% of the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Students participate in the full range of activites conducted at the college- clubs, dances, lectures, special events, trips.

Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 16:58