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RI Transition Academy at Roger Williams University

RI Transition Academy at Roger Williams University
Roger Williams University
RI Transition Academy at Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Road
Stonewall Terrace IV/Honors Building
Bristol, RI 2809
Program Contact Carolyn Aspinawall, Director
Program Contact Email
Phone 401-440-0856
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

The RI Transition Academy at Roger Williams University is a unique educational program operated by The East Bay Educational Collaborative that provides motivated students with disabilities an opportunity to complete their high school education on a college campus and in various community settings. The Transition Academies began in 2003 as an alternative to the public school setting for 18-21 year old students with intellectual, physical and/or emotional disabilities who require additional instruction in functional life skills including employment preparation, social skills training, and assistance with college coursework. Some of the main objectives for our students include;
• To learn about themselves and the world around them.
• To prepare for and obtain competitive employment by participation in business internships.
• To have opportunities to take college courses with support.
• To participate in campus activities and to join clubs.
• To learn how to interact and access their community.
• To have the same kind of experiences their non-disabled peers have.
• To make friends and form networks that will support them in the future.
• To gain experiences that will better prepare them to live independently.

Program Components:
• Students attend the program 180 days and follow the college academic calendar as closely as possible.
• Students learn how to take public transportation to and from the campus, as well as to worksites in the community.
• Students participate in 3 eight to ten week internships at community businesses matched to personal skills, abilities and preferences 3 days per week.
• Transition Weeks in between student internships allow students to reflect on their experience, participate in interviews, prepare presentations on skills they have gained and prepare their resumes.
• Students plan and participate in social activities with their Academy peers 1 day per week and with RWU peers weekly through “Best Buddies” on Campus.
• Students receive functional independent living instruction in an apartment setting 1 day per week.
• Students receive special education classroom transition instruction three mornings per week.
• Each Semester Academy Students attend a college level course in conjunction with RWU students.

The Transition Academy is integrated on Campus :
• RWU School of Education Interns work with students in the classroom 50 hours per semester as part of their pre-service training.
• Academy students participate in “Best Buddies” Chapter on Campus
• Academy students participate in recreational activities on campus with RWU peers as well as access facilities for dining and leisure.
• Academy students participate each semester in a RWU College course.

Students that have graduated from the RI Transition Academy have gone on to positive outcomes in employment, community living and or postsecondary education.

Program information submitted: January 11, 2023

Public or private: Private
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 8
Description of our summer transition program:
School district or agency partner: East Bay Educational Collaborative serving districts in RI, MA and CT
Contact person: Carolyn Aspinwall, Director
Program serves students who have left high school? Some of our students have left high school
Deadline to apply to this program: NONE
Criteria for admission
  • Student must be 18 or older
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Physical disabilities
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 98.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 10.00%
Notes on acceptance and attendance: STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE TO STAY IN THE PROGRAM UNTIL AGE 22.
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $32500.00
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $32500.00
Room and board: $0.00
Program fees: $0.00
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)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Local School District funds
Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical Continuing Education courses
Students take courses that are only for students in this program:
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
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 80%
Other career development activities are:
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 20%
Additional information about career development and work experience: STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN 2-3 INTERNHIPS DURING THE YEAR
Does this program have a working partnership with VR to provide funding, supports and/or services to students in the program? Yes
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): 50-74%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities
  • Registered student organizations
  • Club sports
  • Campus events