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RAM Initiative (Real Achievement Matters)

RAM Initiative (Real Achievement Matters)
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
RAM Initiative (Real Achievement Matters)
West Chester University Recitation Hall 304
University College- Professional Studies Program
West Chester, PA 19383
icon name
Program Contact Dr. Colleen Commisso and Dawn Patterson
Program Contact Email
Phone 610-436-3363
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

Since 2018, the RAM initiative (Real Achievement Matters) program at West Chester University, provides students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-24, to campus to participate in a two-year fully inclusive post-secondary education experience. The RAM initiative is ‘inclusive’ in that RAM students learn, live, and interact with all students, faculty, staff and administrators across campus, not in segregated environments. At their discretion, the students have the option to take courses for either a grade or audit. There is a non-traditional application/admissions process. Students in the RAM Initiative are full time students, have full privileges of the university, and are eligible for Pell Grants and Federal Financial Work Study programs (if financially eligible). VISION: To provide an inclusive post-secondary education to students who meet specific criteria for intellectual disability to develop the skills necessary to become independent, economically self-sufficient citizens who meet the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. Goals: Develop students who are empowered. Develop students who are employable and have career aspirations. Develop students who are self-initiators and life-long learners. Develop students who are socially effective. Develop students who are healthy and happy. Develop students who have independent living skills and have a high participation level in their community. Students in the RAM Initiative enroll in 12-13 credits each semester, including a work-experience practicum/internship per semester. This is a 4 semester, 2 year certification program, where students attend a fully inclusive graduation. Residential opportunities on campus are currently being developed for future students and piloted in 2022-2023 academic year.

Program information submitted: February 22, 2022

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
Number of students: 3
Program serves students who have left high school? Yes, all of our students have left high school
Regular high school diploma required? No, an IEP/non-standard diploma/certificate of attendance is accepted
Deadline to apply to this program: mid to late October annually
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-24
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
Program length: 2 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 33.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 100.00%
Notes on acceptance and attendance:

Currently, the program accepts the number of students that can be supported by the Peer Mentor pool available. This is truly a peer-to-peer program.

Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $10471.06
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $22295.10
Program fees: $0.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Medicaid Waiver or Day Habilitation funds
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 in four WCU courses available to all students enrolled in the university in the student's area of interest. One course is designated as an internship course for students to gain authentic instruction in their Career Pathway (area of interest).

Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 100%
Do all students in this program enroll in at least one inclusive college/university course for credit or audit each semester? Yes
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Certificate of Completion
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Awarded by program, not officially recognized by the IHE
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: 50%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 100%
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
  • Club sports
  • Campus events
  • Fraternities/sororities
Students participate in these campus-wide events:
  • College/University's Student orientation
  • College/University's Family orientation
  • College/University's Graduation