Aggie ACHIEVE at Texas A&M University is a four-year comprehensive transition program (CTP) for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who have exited high school. Aggie ACHIEVE provides an inclusive and immersive college education and equips students for employment in the community. Aggie ACHIEVE aligns coursework, internship opportunities, and extracurricular activities with each student’s academic interests and employment goals. Aggie ACHIEVE students reside in Texas A&M residence halls and have access to all campus-related activities.
Students in ACHIEVE will have access to campus and community life similar to that of their peers on campus. They have the opportunity to:
Each student’s program of study are individually designed through a comprehensive, collaborative process called person-centered planning, where each student and their family member(s) meet with a staff member to design individualized goals. Faculty will work with ACHIEVE staff to develop a modified syllabus and an Independent Learning Agreement to set expectations and assignments.
In the first two years, students are introduced to college life through weekly seminars focused on independent living, career awareness, and self-determination. Beginning in the spring of their first year, students will participate in on-campus internships each week to prepare for inclusive employment.
The last two years in Aggie ACHIEVE will focus more on career development and field specialization, including opportunities for off-campus paid internships in a student’s field of interest. Students will have the opportunity to venture off-campus to work in a setting more directly aligned with their chosen field of specialization. In preparation for the final year, students will work closely with the Job Developer to identify relevant, inclusive employment opportunities locally or in their hometown.
Aggie ACHIEVE is housed within the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Development. Aggie ACHIEVE is also affiliated with the Center on Disability and Development, a nationally recognized University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
Check out our Youtube Channel!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a student stay enrolled in Aggie ACHIEVE?
Aggie ACHIEVE is a total of four years. In the first two years, students are introduced to college life through weekly seminars focused on independent living, career awareness, and self-determination. Beginning in the spring of their first year, students will participate in on-campus internships each week to prepare for inclusive employment.
The last two years of Aggie ACHIEVE will focus more on career development and field specialization, including opportunities for off-campus paid internships in a student’s field of interest. In preparation for the final year, students will work closely with the Job Developer to identify relevant, inclusive employment opportunities locally or in their hometown.
When will applications be posted and when will they be due?
Applications will be posted on October 1 annually. Applications are due electronically by December 1 by 11:59pm (CST), for admission the following fall semester.
Can I make an appointment to come and visit?
We really encourage people who are interested in coming to visit Aggie ACHIEVE to sign up for an open house in the fall or spring. Please see the admissions tab for information on our open houses.
If you have questions about visiting Texas A&M University, click here (https://www.tamu.edu/visitors/plan-your-campus-visit.html) to learn more about planning a visit to Aggieland.
How much does it cost to attend Aggie ACHIEVE per year?
Aggie ACHIEVE Support fees and TAMU fees per semester:
- Designated Academic Fee: $891
- University Advancement Fee: $515
- Health Center Fee: $75
- Rec Sports Fee: $106
- Student Center Fee: $100
- Aggie ACHIEVE Support Fee: $8,563
Please refer to Student Business Services for an explanation of each of the fees above.
In addition, students will also have to pay for their housing on campus and meal plans. The rates for housing and meal plans vary each year. Housing and a mid-grade meal plan is estimated around $10,000 a year. Please refer to Texas A&M Residence Life for more information about housing and University Dining for more information on meal plans.
Please note that during year four, the cost may go down depending on the student’s employment and living needs.
Can my son/daughter receive financial aid?
Aggie ACHIEVE is recognized as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) by the U.S. Department of Education. Aggie ACHIEVE is the first post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities in Texas to receive CTP accreditation, and joins a select group of other postsecondary institutions with CTPs in the country. This means that students in Aggie ACHIEVE may qualify for three types of federal student aid: (1) Federal Pell Grants, (2) Federal Work-Study, and (3) Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. Students and their families can apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA once accepted into the Aggie ACHIEVE program.
Are the courses that ACHIEVE students take transferable to another institution?
The courses are not transferable.
Where do the students live on campus?
Currently, the Aggie ACHIEVE students are living in White Creek dorms. This is subject to change in the future to other dorms on campus. Please refer to Texas A&M Residence Life for more information about housing.
Is this available at other Texas A&M campuses?
At this time, Aggie ACHIEVE is only available at Texas A&M in College Station.
Do students attend during the summer?
Not at this time.
Are there any other postsecondary education opportunities available at Texas A&M University for students with IDD?
Yes! The PATHS Certificate Program is a program offered at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University that will prepare graduates to be Direct Support Professionals, Para-Professionals or Child Care Professionals. This two-year certificate program prepares graduates for employment in a career serving people with disabilities or working with children. More information can be found through paths.tamu.edu.
What do students receive when they graduate?
Students in Aggie ACHIEVE will graduate with a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University.
What criteria are you looking for in Aggie ACHIEVE Students?
- Completed high school and no longer receives support from the school district as of anticipated start date.
- Documented disability diagnosis of intellectual disability; determined eligible for IDEA services and received special education services in high school with an IEP
- Demonstrate ability to communicate reliably with staff, faculty, and mentors (not limited to verbal speech).
- Demonstrate ability to live independently and take care of daily functioning and basic support needs (e.g., toileting, hygiene, feeding, etc.)
- Demonstrate at least 3rd grade reading level in comprehension and fluency.
- Demonstrate ability to function independently for a sustained period of time (e.g., able to sit through 90-minute courses and function independently for 1-hour blocks of time, including navigating campus independently)
- Demonstrate basic mathematics understanding and ability to use a calculator.
- Express desire and motivation to complete a postsecondary education program.
- Express desire to attain a job in an inclusive employment setting upon completing the program.
- Demonstrate active participation throughout the application and interview process.
- Demonstrate sufficient emotional and independent stability to participate in all aspects of the Aggie ACHIEVE coursework and campus environment.
- Be able to handle and adapt to change; not overly stressed when schedules or people change.
- Have proof of health insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, private).
- Serve as his/her own guardian.
- Must be able to independently self-administer and manage medication and specialized dietary needs.
- Demonstrate the ability to navigate campus safely (e.g., crossing streets and parking lots independently).
What is the timeline for acceptance into the Aggie Achieve program?
Here is our tentative timeline for acceptance into the ACHIEVE Program:
October 1st- Applications are posted
December 1st- Applications are due online
February 1st- Invitations to interview
Early February- Zoom interviews
Mid-February- notified if invited to final interviews
Early March- Interviews of applicants and families
Mid-March- Notify admissions office of accepted applicants
Admissions office will mail final acceptance letters.
What supporting documentation will be required for the application?
We have put together a checklist for you that identifies the documents needed in the application. Additionally, we have posted a .pdf copy of the application outline available for you to review before you apply. We encourage you to use these resources to help you as you are planning your application.
I am a current student at Texas A&M University. Is there any way I can get involved in Aggie ACHIEVE?
Texas A&M students can volunteer by joining ACHIEVEMates. The ACHIEVEMates is a student organization dedicated to serving the Texas A&M community by advocating for inclusion and acceptance through establishing one-to-one relationships with Aggie ACHIEVE students. You can learn more about about the ACHIEVEMates here (https://aggieachievemates.wixsite.com/aggieachievemates) or email the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.