Creating Higher Education Opportunities to Increase College Experiences
Why do CHOICE students choose to go to college?
Students in the CHOICE Program attend college for the same reasons other students attend:
- to further their education
- to develop lifelong friendships
- to develop career opportunities
- to gain independence
- to create life enriching experiences
What is the CHOICE Program and who is eligible for admission?
CHOICE is a two year collegiate program culminating in the potential receipt of college course credit, workforce preparedness, and lifelong learning experiences. The East Georgia State College inclusion program is designed for students with disabilities who desire to pursue a complete college immersion experience.
- Age 18 by semester of enrollment with a documented intellectual disability (70 or lower) /or developmental disability that interferes with student’s academic performance.
- Completion of high school program with support from special education and/or related services (as documented in an IEP or 504 Plan) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and/or the Rehabilitation Act.
- Demonstrated emotional and independent living skills that will allow a favorable and beneficial experience from participation in coursework and campus life at EGSC.
- Demonstrated Third-grade academic ability in reading, math, and writing or higher.
- A desire to continue academic, career development, social and independent living instruction at East Georgia State College’s CHOICE Program for Inclusive Learning.
- Sufficient emotional and independent living skills necessary to participate in coursework and campus life.
- Ability to accept responsibility for actions and to maintain respect for self and others and no history of disruptive or challenging behaviors. The CHOICE program does not have personnel necessary to manage behavioral issues.
- Ability to be responsible for understanding and adhering to the EGSC Code of Conduct for students and will be responsible for any violations as well as sanctions imposed by the EGSC Director of Student Conduct.
- Demonstrated reading, writing, and math levels of at least 3rd grade or higher.
- Ability to sit through an entire class period which consists of 60 minutes to a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes.
- Capacity to function independently for a minimum of 2 hour blocks of time.
- Independence in handling his/her own specialized dietary and/or medical needs, as well as in the use of his/her own medication. There is no staff available to manage/administer medications.
- Participation in an interview (with the Admissions Committee).
- Agreement to attend all classes, help sessions, study halls, etc.
- Attendance at a two-day CHOICE Orientation.
What is the admission process?
CHOICE participants must apply for admission prior to the start of the intended Fall or Spring semester. Application packets consist of the Admission Overview and Program Application. These two documents are in the menu in the right column on this page.
For acceptance into the CHOICE Program:
- Upon receiving all required admissions documents, applicants selected for an interview will be notified by the Applications Screening Committee.
- Student will also be required to participate in an interview (with the Applications Screening Committee). Students are encouraged to participate in this interview without a parent/support person present. If the student desires an interview with a parent/support person, a second interview may be scheduled.
The application Screening Committee’s rating of the applicant’s materials along with the results of the interviews will form the basis for admission to the CHOICE Program.
How much does it cost to participate in the CHOICE Program?
Cost will vary according the number of classes and type of meal plan selected. Please refer to the fees menu for information on program cost on the CHOICE Website. Once you have been accepted in the program, CHOICE personnel will talk to you about specific costs and provide materials beyond this resource so you can plan accordingly. Applicants applying from out of state also will be required to pay out-of-state tuition and fees.
How long do students participate in the CHOICE Program?
Participation in the program lasts two academic years or four semesters.
What does a day in the CHOICE Program look like?
Each CHOICE student receives a semester schedule of courses that is tailored to his or her specific needs and interests. Students audit East Georgia State College courses for institutional credit, including courses in career development, academic enrichment, self-determination, and independent living that were designed as part of the program and courses that are chosen based on the student’s own goals. Tutoring sessions are part of each student’s plan, often with a peer mentor. Job shadowing and internships, either paid or unpaid, are required for every CHOICE student. These may be on- or off-campus opportunities depending upon individual students’ person-centered plans. A minimum of 50% of students’ experiences are in inclusive settings.
Are there opportunities for job shadowing/internship in the program?
Yes. At the completion of the participant’s first semester making satisfactory progress, each participant will participate in job shadowing opportunities for a minimum of ten hours per week. While participating in job shadowing, participants will be supported by the CHOICE program director, program staff, mentors, or volunteers. Upon the completion of the first year, CHOICE students making satisfactory progress will transition to internship placements on campus or in the community.
Are CHOICE participants eligible for financial aid?
Yes, the CHOICE Program for inclusive learning at East Georgia State College (EGSC) has been designated by the U. S. Department of Education as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). The DOE recognizes such programs that meet specific criteria and provide postsecondary learning opportunities for students with disabilities. One benefit of the CTP designation is that students are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please contact Theresa R. Davis CHOICE Program Director, for more information at (478)289-2191.
Is integrating students into the college community a focus of the program?
Integration is a key to the success of our program. CHOICE students are treated like any other EGSC student. They participate by auditing general courses or taking them for nontransferable institutional credit, work typical jobs and socialize with nondisabled students. Allowing program participants to socialize, communicate, and learn in the same ways as their peers provides them with the academic, social and career development skills that prepare them to take/share responsibility for making decisions about their future.
Is CHOICE a certificate program?
Yes, students who complete the CHOICE Program receive the CHOICE Certificate of Career Development. Minimal credential Requirements:
- Forty-four (44) credit hours of coursework taken for credit or audited using a modified syllabus. If audit using a modified syllabus assignments will be determined and agreed upon through person-centered planning and student personal goals. Each student will choose an area of emphasis for his or her program of study and take coursework related to personal goals and area of emphasis.
- A minimum of two supervised work-based internships/trainings, in 100% inclusive settings, related to the student’s career goal. Work-based internships can be paid or non-paid and can be on campus or off campus.
- A portfolio of accomplishments is also required. The portfolio will include examples of course assignments/documents or projects, examples of skills obtained through work-based learning/work-based internship experiences, leadership or service learning activities on campus or in the community, and student life involvement, etc.
What do CHOICE students do when they complete the program?
Upon completion of the program, CHOICE students can choose to transition back into the community where they apply knowledge and skills gained through the program to everyday living, enter the work setting, or transfer to another post-secondary inclusive program to continue their learning journey.