ABOUT

The primary goal of Project Panther LIFE is to provide a comprehensive postsecondary program and system of supports through partnerships to eligible students with ID through a well-planned, structured, and individualized curriculum and related program and community experiences focusing on academics and instruction, social activities, employment, and independent living.

OBJECTIVES

The principal objectives of Project Panther LIFE include:

  1. The recruitment, preparation, and retention of thirty (30) students with ID that meet project eligibility criteria;
  2. Initial and ongoing advising, academic mentoring, peer coaching support, and job coaching;
  3. The development of self-determination and advocacy skills for students and families enrolled in the program;
  4. The development and generalization of independent living skills in the community;
  5. The ongoing evaluation of the program leading to revisions and modifications in program development and expansion, functioning, implementation, and requirements;
  6. The successful completion of students with ID from the program; and
  7. The successful and paid employability of students with ID from the program.

ADMISSIONS

Students in the Project Panther LIFE program at Florida International University will be deemed eligible upon meeting the following criteria:

  1. Completion of necessary credits for graduation with a special diploma or a standard diploma via Access courses.
  2. Be at least 18 years of age (age limitation – 21).
  3. Benefit at least two (2) years from the program.
  4. Have a documented Intellectual Disability (ID).
  5. Initiated Vocational Rehabilitative (VR) process for university tuition, fees, and books.
  6. Have a desire to receive transition services in a university setting.
  7. Have exhibited a need and a desire for greater independence.
  8. Be able to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.
  9. Display a level of social maturity conducive to a university environment.
  10. Be able to maintain appropriate personal self-care and hygiene.
  11. Have own cell phone before entering the program, so program personnel can maintain contact.
  12. Will benefit from participation in a variety of job shadowing and community internship experiences.
  13. Have a desire to work competitively at the successful completion of the program.
  14. Are interested and capable of using public transportation to access the program (travel training to be provided by the program during the summer prior to the beginning of the academic year).
  15. Have satisfactory record of school attendance from previous schools.
  16. Must consent to being photographed, videotaped, interviewed, and/or quoted in media and publications.
  17. Understand that Project Panther LIFE would like for students to participate in research studies so that the effectiveness of this postsecondary transition program can be evaluated.

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