SUCCEED is a post-secondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities or autism. It is offered by Howard Center in collaboration with area colleges.
SUCCEED students participate in a college experience that prepares them for a future of success, creativity, and contribution to their community. While enrolled in the program, students receive support from SUCCEED staff and feedback from their peers, professors, employers, and organizations. When students graduate, they have the skills they need to
- live in their own apartment
- develop meaningful friendships
- obtain fulfilling employment
- establish community connections.
To apply, students must submit an application and participate in an interview with SUCCEED staff.
The SUCCEED Program
SUCCEED collaborates with area colleges to provide a post-secondary education experience. Students develop their own academic goals as part of the educational planning process. While in the program, students have access to:
- SUCCEED functional academic courses, instructed on UVM campus, with learning objectives focused on communication and relationship dynamics, organizational strategies, study habits, conflict resolution, distress tolerance, human behavior, personal finance, self-determination, community outreach, and career development.
- College courses at the University of Vermont, Community College of Vermont and other area schools.
- Group and 1:1 study sessions and tutoring support
- A SUCCEED Program Manager to help coordinate and to function as a liaison to college disability offices and admissions.
Students participate in the full college experience by becoming involved in the campus culture. The campus has endless social/recreational opportunities, and SUCCEED students are required to join a collegiate or Burlington area club.
Campus mentors provide additional social support to encourage SUCCEED student involvement. Mentors are other UVM students who are matched with SUCCEED students based on a mutual interest.
All SUCCEED students have a student ID card that gives them access to key campus resources such as the athletic facilities, campus transportation, and CAT Scratch dining.
In addition to the campus culture, students are encouraged to become involved in the greater community. Students fulfill a community service requirement by volunteering for organizations such as the Humane Society, the United Way, or Special Olympics.
Students design a career path of their choice with their Employment Advisor. The Employment Advisor, through Howard Center’s Project Hire, guides students through the employment and career development process, helping them to secure paid employment, while also planning for a professional career. Students who participate in the employment component of SUCCEED have support to attain:
- Part-time paid positions
- Interview coaching
- Development of a personalized employment portfolio
- A semester-long internship in their field of interest
- Job shadowing opportunities
- Attend campus career fairs and other networking opportunities
SUCCEED has two residential sites located in college neighborhoods in downtown Burlington. Both sites offer group living opportunities, as well as independent apartments.
First year students live in one of the main SUCCEED houses with other students and a Residential Advisor. Students gain independent living skills, with staff supports in areas such as cooking, household upkeep, communication with housemates, and effective time management. Students participate in weekly chores, grocery shopping, and meal prep rotations to practice routines and responsibilities necessary for eventually living independently.
Students who have demonstrated the necessary skills to transition from the main SUCCEED house, move to an onsite apartment. In this model, students continue to receive support from the staff team. However, their responsibilities increase along with their independence.
Following this progression through the residential component, students are better prepared for life after SUCCEED.
SUCCEED is the best thing that ever happened to me.
-A SUCCEED graduate