FIU Embrace PLUS is a two-year program designed to develop a well-rounded and self-sufficient young adult, aged 18 – 26, in an inclusive and supportive university community of learners who will be marketable for competitive, integrated, and paid employment and be able to live independently upon graduation.


The principal objectives of FIU Embrace PLUS include:

  1. To utilize a person-centered-planning process that will enable students to establish and work toward meeting individual and program goals and objectives related to the transition domains of Career Development and Employment, Academic Enrichment, Campus and Community Engagement, Independent Living, and Self-Determination.
  2. To enhance students’ community participation and development of appropriate communication, social, and self-determination skills that will empower them to become self-advocates and independent, productive members of their community.
  3. To provide students’ families with the necessary information, resources, guidance, and support to facilitate their students’ transition toward increased independence and employment.
  4. To provide academic and social access and support so that students may participate in classroom based (university coursework) and experiential (campus life and community integration) learning activities.
  5. To help students develop their independent living skills and achieve a healthy work/life balance through coursework and seminars/workshops centered on transition domains (e.g.., health/nutrition, technology, money management, etc.).
  6. To provide employment preparation for students as they work to develop the skills to participate in meaningful, inclusive employment opportunities on the university campus and South Florida community.


Students in the FIU Embrace PLUS program at Florida International University will be deemed eligible upon meeting the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 – 26 years of age (age limitation: 24 at beginning of program)
  • Must have exited High School (High School Diploma or Special Diploma)
  • Have a documented Intellectual Disability (ID)
  • Desire and ability to commit to participating in a two (2) year university-based transition program
  • Initiated Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process
  • Exhibit a need and a desire for greater independence
  • Be interested and capable of using public transportation or other forms of transportation (e.g., STS) to access the program independently
  • Be able to communicate effectively and appropriately with others (e.g., project personnel, university students, professors)
  • Be interested and able to participate in an on-campus and off-campus, supported Independent Living Experience (to take place during the student’s second academic year)
  • Be able to cover costs associated with program participation, including tuition, program and university fees, books, training materials, and independent living expenses
  • Display a level of social maturity conducive to a university environment
  • Be able to maintain appropriate personal self-care and hygiene
  • Have own cell phone before entering the program, so program personnel can maintain consistent contact
  • Will benefit from participation in a variety of on-campus and community internship experiences
  • Have a desire to work competitively at the successful completion of the program
  • Must consent to being photographed, videotaped, interviewed, and/or quoted in media and publications
  • Understand that FIU Embrace PLUS would like for students to participate in future research studies so that the effectiveness of this post-secondary transition program can be evaluated


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