Aggie ACHIEVE at Texas A&M University is a 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 is designed to enroll students for up to four years.For the first two years, students reside in Texas A&M residence halls and have access to TAMU coursework and all campus-related activities. During the third and fourth years, students will select off-campus housing with their families. Aggie ACHIEVE staff will continue to provide support for independent living as needed. Students may attend Aggie ACHIEVE for up to four years.
Students will be reviewed annually for continuation in the program. Each year, students will receive a micro-credential for successful completion of the respective year. Successful completion of these micro-credentials will include satisfactory performance in academics, independent living, employment, and social skills. Students who complete all four years of the
Aggie ACHIEVE program will graduate with a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University.
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 School 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).
Aggie ACHIEVE is supported by the U.S. Department of Education as a Comprehensive Transition Program and a Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID; 2020-2025).
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a student stay enrolled in Aggie ACHIEVE?
Students can be enrolled in Aggie ACHIEVE for up to four years as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements. We will conduct an annual evaluation at the end of each academic year to determine their continued eligibility for the following year.
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 cannot accommodate individual appointments or tours. 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.
What if I can’t make an open house?
No problem! You can watch our most recent virtual open house here:
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:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Work-Study
- 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?
For the first two years of the program, Aggie ACHIEVE students live in White Creek Apartments on west campus.
During the third and fourth years, Aggie ACHIEVE students live off campus at an apartment or housing they select with their families.
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?
Only finalists for the incoming freshmen class are required to attend a two-week summer orientation in June prior to the start of their freshman year. Aggie ACHIEVE students do not participate in summer courses and are not required to be in College Station during the summer.
Where can I find more information about other post-secondary educational opportunities like Aggie ACHIEVE?
ThinkCollege is a great resource for youth with disabilities and their families to explore other postsecondary programs that are available.
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 through the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University that prepares 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.
What do students receive when they graduate?
Students who complete all four years in Aggie ACHIEVE will graduate with a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University. Students will also earn micro-credentials each year focusing on key domains of the program, such as academics, employment skills, independent living, and social skills.
What criteria are you looking for in Aggie ACHIEVE Students?
- Completed high school and are no longer receiving support from the school.
- Between ages 18-27 at the time of entry into the program.
- Students must serve as their own legal guardian.
- Documented disability diagnosis of intellectual disability or autism; received special education services in high school with an IEP.
- 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
- 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).
- Be able to independently self-administer and manage medication and specialized dietary needs.
- Navigate campus safely (e.g., crossing streets and parking lots independently).
What is the timeline for acceptance into the Aggie ACHIEVE program?
Applications are posted October 1 and are due December 1 each year. Application review will begin in early spring, with two-day, on-campus interviews held in April. All finalists will be required to attend a Summer Experience at TAMU in June. Applicants will be notified whether they are officially accepted after the completion of the summer experience.
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.