AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) – The EAGLES Program is also known as Education to Accomplish Growth Life Experiences for Success. The program is for students with intellectual disabilities it started in the fall of 2018 and has grown over the years. Auburn University System Students Portal Login
This allows opportunities for students in the EAGLES Program to take part in a two or four-year campus experience. Director of the EAGLES Program, Betty Patten, says they started with only three students in the program and now have 20. They recently moved to a new location in Foy Hall that will allow them to accept more students.
“Every decision that was made was to make sure that our student’s needs were kept at the heart of it,” said Patten. “While also respecting the timely of it and how important it was to transition in-between semesters. Giving the students that we serve to provide as little of disruption as possible.”
The new area has rooms from a technology center, conference area, bigger classrooms and even a kitchen. Sophomore Sadie Weldon says her favorite part is the new classrooms.
“The big classroom. To do classes with my classmates, cause we can all come together and do class together and like bond with each other,” said Weldon. “And have a good time with each other. I met new people and the community is here, it’s been amazing. I love the classes that I’m taking, I just love it here.”
Patten says their freshman students who will join the fall of 2022 are being supported to prepare for that transition to college through online services like Canvas and Catalog.
“We have more than 50 campus partners who help facilitate the inclusion of our students so that our Eagles have that organic experience while focusing on employment development, interpersonal skills, health, and wellness daily living skills and at the heart of every university academic enrichment,” said Patten.
The EAGLES program is one of seven programs in the state of Alabama. The only four-year program that is residential and holds two comprehensive transition programs designation statuses from the federal government department of education.
“This means our students are included in at least 50-percent of their day with their traditional peers and have access to the institutional resources that are available to traditional students,” said Patten.
Inclusive post-secondary education is one of 312 programs. In 2008, the Higher Ed Opportunity Act made provisions that included federal demonstration grants for universities to launch these programs.
“This created a consortium for a technical assistant center so since 2008 there has been an influx in these types of programs because the national infrastructure has increased for support. “
The students complete a separate application for the EAGLES program before they are accepted into the university. Patten said anybody is welcome to apply to the program.
For all information on the EAGLES Program, click HERE.