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RISE (Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment)

RISE (Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment)
Judson University
RISE (Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment)
1151 N. State Street
Elgin, IL 60123
icon name
Program Contact Kathy Lambert
Phone 847-628-2524

RISE stands for Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment. The purpose is to give students with intellectual disabilities the college life experience, in a Christian community, and to prepare them to live independently and be competitively employed.
RISE is a 2-year program that includes a customized curriculum, as well as opportunities for the students to audit traditional student courses. The customized curriculum includes independent living, math & money management, health & fitness, person-centered planning, professional skills, current events and a devotions class. Both on- and off-campus internships are part of the program. RISE students are fully-engaged in Judson student life – participating in chapel three times per week, sporting events, music/theater/social activities, etc. Our students earn a Certificate of Completion in Liberal Arts and participate in the Judson University graduation ceremony.
Two RISE students will be assigned to a dorm room, with a Housing mentor living across the hall. Traditional Judson students also have the opportunity to be Study, Job-Coach or Social mentors for the program.
RISE cohorts, of 12 students each, begin every Fall semester; tuition, room & board match the costs that traditional Judson students pay. Each RISE cohort follows a typical academic year (4 semesters, spanning August through May for 2 academic years). Ideal candidates are students 18-25 years of age, with a diagnosed intellectual disability, a high school diploma or equivalent, practical reading/writing skills and a desire to learn with traditional students. An online application is available at and the application deadline for each cohort is January 31.

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: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 12
This program will be serving students in: 2017-2018
Deadline to apply to this program: January 31
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Regular high school diploma
  • Other diploma (e.g., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
  • 18-25
  • Practical reading/writing skills A desire to live on campus and learn with traditional students
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
Program length: 2 years
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)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Grant Funding
  • Medicaid Waiver or Day Habilitation funds
  • Corporate Sponsorships
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
More about course access:

RISE will leverage person-centered planning to help identify the best course audit fit for each RISE student. Typical college courses are taken for audit or adapted syllabus at faculty and student discretion.

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

The students take the following classes together: Independent Living (2 hrs); Math & Money Management (2 hrs); Professional Skills (2 hrs); Person-Centered Planning (2 hrs); Current Events (2 hrs); Daily Living Through Christian Values (2 hrs); Personal Fitness and Wellness (1 hr). Each student will also have an on- or off-campus internship, in which s/he will work 4-6 hours/week with a Student Job Coach.

Time spent only with other students in this program: About half the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Certificate of Completion in Liberal Arts
The credential(s) is/are:
  • Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
  • Just for students in this program
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 0%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
We offer the following specialized credentials:

We are not anticipating doing this; the certificate will be for liberal arts.

Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: 25%
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Judson offers opportunities to attend sporting events (soccer, baseball, bowling, basketball, volleyball) and music & theater activities, as well as participate in student organizations such as intramural sports, International Justice Mission and Video Gamer's Club.

Last updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 11:28