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ClemsonLIFE

ClemsonLIFE™

Clemson Life Students

Welcome To ClemsonLIFE™

The ClemsonLIFE program at Clemson University offers a collegiate experience that prepares young men and women with intellectual disabilities for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration. The program is designed for students who desire a post-secondary experience on a college campus. Our program incorporates functional academics, independent living, employment and social/leisure skills in a public university setting with the goal of producing self-sufficient young adults.

ClemsonLIFE Traditional

  • About the Program

    The ClemsonLIFE Program offers a two-year Basic Program that incorporates functional academics, independent living, employment, social/leisure skills, and health/wellness skills in a public university setting with the goal of producing self-sufficient young adults. Additionally, the ClemsonLIFE Program offers a two-year Advanced Program for students that have demonstrated the ability to safely live independently, sustain employment, and socially integrate during the Basic Program. The Advanced Program progresses with an emphasis on workplace experience, community integration, and independent living with transitionally reduced supports. Students who successfully complete the Basic and/or Advanced program will receive a corresponding certificate of post-secondary education.

    We Believe

    • Young adults go through a similar development process that requires certain activities, experience and support.
    • Young adults must develop skills and an understanding about themselves and the world around them in order to fully participate in society and to become successful, contributing adults.
    • Higher education is a vehicle for self-empowerment and access to social networks, employment, and independence.
    • Group membership provides essential motivation and support for learning and participation in community life.

    ClemsonLIFE Courses

    • Functional Mathematics, Banking and Budgeting
    • Functional Literacy
    • Independent Living Skills
    • Social Skills
    • Self Advocacy and Safety
    • Health and Wellness
    • Employment Skills
    • Supervised Job Placement/Internship

    Independent Living

    • Students live in four bedroom apartments on campus
    • Supervision is provided by an on-site Independent Living Assistant (ILA) in each student apartment
    • Independent living skills are taught in class, at the apartments, and then reinforced by ILAs
    • Students are taught how to utilize public transportation
    • Time management, prioritizing, and scheduling

    Counseling

    • Counselors assist students and resident assistants with independent living skills
    • Weekly group counseling sessions with students
    • Individual counseling session available, upon student request

    Employment

    • Job placements (on and off campus) with on-site supervision
    • Weekly jobsite performance evaluations
    • Classroom instruction on employment skills

    Employment Resources Provided

    • Each student will be given an electronic copy of the following upon graduation: resume, reference list, and other resources (i.e. tips for an interview, how to deposit a paper check, common employment accommodations)

    Socialization/Leisure

    • Enrollment in Clemson University leisure skills course
    • Involvement in various campus student organizations
    • Community involvement
    • Interaction with Clemson University students from all across campus
    • Mentor Program

    Health and Wellness

    • Nutrition and cooking classes
    • Personal fitness training
    • Personal and universal hygiene practices
    • Characteristics of healthy relationships

  • Applications and Admissions
    • Documentation of an intellectual disability, with significant limitations in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, as defined by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). “Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before the age of 18” (AAIDD)
    • Primary disability must be cognitive, not behavioral or emotional
    • Was eligible for IDEA services while in school; has an IEP
    • Has the ability to independently self-administer and manage medication, specialized dietary, and/or medical needs. Note: ClemsonLIFE personnel are not available to manage/administer medication and take no responsibility for specialized diets or medical needs
    • Reading ability is on at least a third-grade level
    • Has basic mathematics understanding; can use a calculator
    • Can utilize technology (cell phone, laptop, etc.) on a basic level
    • Age is between 18-26 years old upon admission to the program
    • Demonstrates independence, motivation, and stability
    • Can function independently for a sustained period of time
    • Likes to be around people; sociable
    • Able to handle changes in routine; can be flexible in fluctuating circumstances
    • Not defiant toward authority; can take direction
    • Demonstrates the ability to accept personal responsibility for actions and maintains respect for self and others
    • Likes to learn
    • Has the potential to be successful in competitive employment situations. We highly recommend employment, or at least volunteer, experience before entering the program.
    • Has the desire and motivation to participate in a college experience
    • Has parents who will support his/her independence

    Application Process

    • We recommend prospective students and families attend a program open house. This one-day program will allow students and families to determine if the ClemsonLIFE program will be a good fit.
    • Complete and submit the 2023-2024 ClemsonLIFE Application for Admission and required documentation by December 1.
    • Select payment portal tab and pay application fee.
    • Eligible applicants may be invited to attend an on-campus interview.
  • Open House

    Open House dates:

    • October 8, 2022 and March 4, 2023
    • The registration link for Fall will be posted September 1, 2022
    • The registration link for Spring will be posted February 1, 2023
  • Daily Schedule
    Monday and Wednesday
    • 9:00 a.m. – LIFE: Applied Math/Applied Literature
    • 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
    • 1:00 p.m. –  Social Skills/Internship
    • 3:00 p.m. – Fitness Workout at Fike
    • 4:00 p.m. – Tutoring
    • 5:00 p.m. – Dinner
    Tuesday and Thursday
    • 9:00 a.m. – LIFE: Self-Advocacy
    • 11:00 a.m. – Leisure Skill Class
    • 12:15 p.m. – Lunch
    • 1:30 p.m. –  Life Skills/Employment
    • 4:00 p.m. – Walking Club
    • 5:00 p.m. – Dinner
    Friday

    9:00 a.m. – Computers & Technology/Critical Thinking
    12:00 p.m. – Lunch
    1:00 p.m. – Explore Clemson/Internship
    3:30 p.m. – Fitness Workout at Fike

    Friday Afternoon – Sunday Evening
    • Activities, Social, Leisure, and Recreation Events/Outings Planned by Independent Living Assistants.
    • Grocery Shopping at Local Grocery Stores

    *This is a sample schedule that is subject to change.

    Social Leisure/Recreational Opportunities

    All students attend a Clemson University leisure skills class one to two days per week. They attend a specialized fitness class at Fike Recreation center once a week. Mentors also meet with students on a weekly basis to support and encourage LIFE students. The 650+ volunteers will be available for a plethora of activities with our students.

    • Tailgates and football games on Saturdays
    • Soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball and other sporting events
    • Students are buddies to young children with disabilities at TOP Soccerand Challenger Baseball.
    • Students have the opportunity to participate on the Tiger Sharks Swim Team, Equine Therapy, and intramural sports.
    • Campus-wide activities such as movies, bowling, concerts, shows, First Friday parade, homecoming events, etc.
    • Students join and attend university clubs and student organizations functions.
  • Calendar

    The ClemsonLIFE Program follows the University academic calendar, except for University exam weeks.

    Fall 2022

    • August 9- Hospitality Certificate Program Orientation
    • August 18- Advanced Program Move In
    • August 19- Advanced Program Orientation
    • August 21- Basic Program Move In
    • August 22-Basic Program Orientation
    • August 24- Fall Classes Begin
    • September 10- Home Football Game (vs. Furman)
    • September 17- Home Football Game (vs. LA Tech)
    • October 1- Home Football Game (vs. NC State)
    • October 8- Open House
    • October 22- Home Football Game (vs. Syracuse)
    • November 7-8- Fall Break
    • November 12- Home Football Game (vs. Louisville)
    • November 19- Home Football Game (vs. Miami)
    • November 23-25- Thanksgiving Break
    • November 26- Home Football Game (vs. USofC)
    • December 9- Last Day of Classes
    • December 12-January 10- Holiday Break

    Spring 2023

    • January 11- Spring Classes Begin
    • January 16- MLK Holiday- University Closed (no classes)
    • March 4- Open House
    • March 20-24- Spring Break
    • April 28- Last Day of Classes
    • April 29- Move Out Day and ClemsonLIFE Commencement Ceremony
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    What is the mission of the ClemsonLIFE program?

    ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone) offers a collegiate experience that prepares young men and women with intellectual disabilities for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration.

    How does the ClemsonLIFE Program differ from other post-secondary opportunities?

    ClemsonLIFE core principles support the concept that enhancing academic, social, employment, and life skills will better prepare students with disabilities to lead full and productive lives. It is a comprehensive residential college experience designed to raise the expectations and skill levels of the students admitted to the program.

    Who will be teaching the coursework?

    Traditional college courses are taught by Clemson faculty, while functional academics are taught by staff with teacher certification in the area of special education.

    What are admission criteria?

    An applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 26 years old upon admission to the program and have an intellectual disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. Applicants must have a strong desire to become an independent adult and possess sufficient emotional stability and maturity to successfully participate in the program.

    How many applicants are offered admission each year?

    Twelve full time students will be admitted each year for fall semester.

    Is this a residential or commuter program?

    ClemsonLIFE is a residential program providing instruction and practical experience in independent living skills. All students enrolled in the Basic Program live in on-campus apartments under the supervision on an Independent Living Assistant (ILA). Students in the Advanced Program live in apartments off-campus, and are closely monitored by Transition Specialists who assist them with independent living skills.

    What is the length of the program?

    The Basic Program is designed to be completed in two years. Admittance into the Advanced Program is by invite-only, and provides two additional years of transition support to help facilitate independent living.

    What kind of certificate do students get?

    Students successfully completing the program will receive a certificate of post-secondary education (not an accredited college degree).

    Will there be student mentors?

    Each ClemsonLIFE student is provided an individual peer student mentor drawn from throughout the campus. Mentors assist ClemsonLIFE students both academically and socially, as well as helping them fully integrate into the college community.

    Are there opportunities for scholarships or grants?

    There are a variety of different funding opportunities including FAFSA, Pell grants, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education grants, Vocational Rehabilitation tuition stipends, ClemsonLIFE grant-in-aids, and other private scholarships.

    How do I schedule a campus tour?

    All interested applicants should attend one of our open houses that are held each semester. Sessions are typically offered in March and October. To reserve a space at an open house session, please register online. To schedule a campus tour, please visit the University campus tours page and fill out the registration form.

  • Costs

    ClemsonLIFE is dedicated to providing a structured, high-quality, well-supervised program focused on vocational and independent living for young adults with disabilities. The cost per-semester is listed below for the 2022/2023 school year.

    The below fees are invoiced directly from the ClemsonLIFE program:

    ClemsonLIFE Fees (Basic Program)

    Program Fees
    Covers costs associated with the ClemsonLIFE program (i.e. Operation Costs and Staff/Instructor Salaries) - $12,000

    Student Budget Fees
    Covers apartment groceries, laundry, attendance at sporting or theater events, field trips, etc. - $1,550

    University Fees
    The below fees are paid directly to Clemson University and are included on the University bill:

    Housing 
    Covers rent, utilities, cable and Internet. All students currently live in Douthit Hills apartments on campus. - $4,789

    Academic Fee 
    Covers tuition fees. All students are required to enroll in a one credit hour Clemson University leisure skills class.

    • $633/credit hour for SC Residents
    • $1,633/credit hour for Non-Residents

    Meal Plan (Required)
    The ClemsonLIFE meal plan is designed specifically for the ClemsonLIFE students for dining hall access.

    • $1,463 per semester (100 meals + 250 paw points)

    Additional Fees 

    • Total cost, $460 per semester
    • Health Fee, $182 per semester

    *All fees reflect the cost for Fall 2023 and are subject to change.

    ClemsonLIFE Fees (Advanced Program)

    The below fees are invoiced directly from the ClemsonLIFE program:

    Program Fees
    Covers costs associated with the ClemsonLIFE program (i.e. Operation Costs and Staff/Instructor Salaries) - $7,500

    Student Budget Fees
    Covers apartment groceries, laundry, attendance at sporting or theater events, field trips, etc. - Not applicable
    *Students work in the Clemson Community and with ClemsonLIFE staff to define a budget that reflects the student's monthly income.

    University Fees
    The below fees are paid directly to Clemson University and are included on the University bill:

    Academic Fee 
    Covers tuition fees. All students are required to enroll in a one credit hour Clemson University leisure skills class.

    • $633/credit hour for SC Residents
    • $1,633/credit hour for Non-Residents

    Meal Plan (Optional)
    The ClemsonLIFE meal plan is designed specifically for the ClemsonLIFE students for dining hall access.

    • $1,463 per semester (100 meals + 250 paw points)

    Additional Fees 

    • Total cost, $460 per semester
    • Health Fee, $182 per semester

    *All fees reflect the cost for Fall 2023 and are subject to change.

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for students with intellectual disabilities attending post-secondary programs. The following are resources to explore:

    Federal Student Aid: Students may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants receiving up to $6,495 per year. Here are resources on the steps to filling out the FAFSA form and things you need to know before filling out the FAFSA form.

    South Carolina Commission on Higher Education- Transition Program Scholarship: If you are a South Carolina resident we encourage you to complete your FAFSA so you will receive the CTP scholarship from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. This scholarship is NOT need based. The requirements to receive funds from the CTP Scholarship are 1) they must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, 2) a legal SC resident, and 3) be enrolled in a College Transition Program

    South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department: Students may be eligible for sponsorships.

    Some independent organizations and groups have offered scholarship money to select students.

    Ruby's Rainbow: Our goal at Ruby's Rainbow is to grant scholarships to adults with Down Syndrome seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes who feel that higher education is the right choice for them.

    O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund: The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down Syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in post-secondary educational programs.

    CSS Profile: The CSS form is not mandatory, but if you would like to be considered by ClemsonLIFE for Grant-in-aids you will have to fill out the form. Clemson University’s School Code is 5111. Cost for the CSS Profile is $25 for the initial application and one college or program report. Each additional college report is $16. More information can be found on the College Board website.

  • Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for students with intellectual disabilities attending post-secondary programs. The following are resources to explore:

    Federal Student Aid: Students may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants receiving up to $6,495 per year. Here are resources on the steps to filling out the FAFSA form and things you need to know before filling out the FAFSA form.

    South Carolina Commission on Higher Education- Transition Program Scholarship: If you are a South Carolina resident we encourage you to complete your FAFSA so you will receive the CTP scholarship from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. This scholarship is NOT need based. The requirements to receive funds from the CTP Scholarship are 1) they must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, 2) a legal SC resident, and 3) be enrolled in a College Transition Program

    South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department: Students may be eligible for sponsorships.

    Some independent organizations and groups have offered scholarship money to select students.

    Ruby's Rainbow: Our goal at Ruby's Rainbow is to grant scholarships to adults with Down Syndrome seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes who feel that higher education is the right choice for them.

    O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund: The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down Syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in post-secondary educational programs.

    CSS Profile: The CSS form is not mandatory, but if you would like to be considered by ClemsonLIFE for Grant-in-aids you will have to fill out the form. Clemson University’s School Code is 5111. Cost for the CSS Profile is $25 for the initial application and one college or program report. Each additional college report is $16. More information can be found on the College Board website.

  • Resources

    College is not for everyone. However, many students desire a college experience, including students with intellectual disabilities. It is for this reason that many colleges and universities now offer Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Programs, like ClemsonLIFE. These programs offer inclusive social activities; participation in college courses; along with instruction on independent living skills, employment skills, and social skills with the goal of independent living and gainful employment to the greatest extent possible for each student.

    Think College is a great resource for families of students with intellectual disabilities considering college. For a searchable database of Available Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Programs, see ThinkCollege Database.

    Online Resources


    Other Online Resources

    Publications

    • Collins, J. C., Ryan, J.B., Katsiyannis, A., Barrett, D. & Yell, M. (2014). Use of portable electronic assistive technology to improve independent job performance of young adults with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(3), 15-30.
    • Hawkins, B.L., Stegall, J.B., Weber, M. & Ryan J.B. (2012). The Influence of a Yoga Exercise Program for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Yoga, 5, 151-156.
    • Hughes, E., Green, J.  & Ryan, J.B. (2011). The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 13-20.
  • ClemsonLIFE Research

    Recent ClemsonLIFE Research

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., Hirsch, S., Allen, A. (in press). Effects of Self-Monitoring on the Self-Determination of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability in a Post-Secondary Educational Setting. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

    *Walters, S., *Stierle, J., *Stockwell, D., *Carlson, A., & Ryan, J.B., (2021). Efficacy of video prompting using mobile technology to teach employment tasks to individuals with intellectual disability. Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education. 3(1), 1-21.

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., *Stierle, J. N. *Walters (2021). Meal planner application efficacy for increasing meal planning independence in individuals with intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 56(2), 225- 239.

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., *Stierle, J. N. *Walters, & S. Bridges, W. (2021). Evaluating and Enhancing Driving Skills for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities through Simulator Training. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 36(4), 191-200.

    *Randall, K. N., *Johnson, F., *Adams, S. E., *Kiss, C. W., & Ryan, J. B. (2020). Use of iPhone task analysis application to increase employment related chores for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 35(1), 26-36.

    Ryan, J. B., *Randall, K.N., *Walters, E., & *Morash-MacNeil, V. (2019). Employment and independent living outcomes of a mixed model post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 50, 61-72.

    *Morash-MacNeil, V., *Johnson, F., & Ryan, J. B. (2018). Effectiveness of assistive technology for individuals with intellectual disability in the workplace: A meta-analysis. Journal of Special Education Technology, 33(1), 15-26.

    Collins, J. C., Ryan, J.B., Katsiyannis, A., Barrett, D. & Yell, M. (2014). Use of portable electronic assistive technology to improve independent job performance of young adults with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(3), 15-30.

    Hawkins, B.L., Stegall, J.B., Weber, M. & Ryan J.B. (2012). The Influence of a Yoga Exercise Program for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Yoga, 5, 151-156.

    Hughes, E., Green, J.  & Ryan, J.B. (2011). The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 13-20.

    *Co-author was a student at time of preparation

  • General Information

    ClemsonLIFE | 101 Gantt Circle  | Suite G-01 | Clemson University | Clemson, SC 29634 | 864-656-0501 | clemsonlife@g.clemson.edu

ClemsonLIFE Hospitality Certificate Program

  • About the Program

    ClemsonLIFE also offers an employment based program, the Hospitality Certificate Program (HCP). HCP students will receive a combination of classroom and employment experiences to prepare for employment in the Hospitality Industry. This two year program provides graduates with a ClemsonLIFE Hospitality Certificate while having the opportunity to receive other training/certifications (e.g., CPR/AED, Hazmat, Customer Service).

    We Believe

    • Young adults go through a similar development process that requires certain activities, experience and support.
    • Young adults must develop skills and an understanding about themselves and the world around them in order to fully participate in society and to become successful, contributing adults.
    • Higher education is a vehicle for self-empowerment and access to social networks, employment, and independence.
    • Group membership provides essential motivation and support for learning and participation in community life.

    Courses

    • ClemsonLIFE HCP Academic Support
    • PRTM 1980 - Employment and Hotel Operation Skills 1
    • PRTM 2980 - Employment and Food Service Skills
    • PRTM 3980 -  Employment and Hotel Operation Skills 2
    • PRTM 4980 - Professional Development in Tourism and Hospitality
    • Work-Based Skills Lab
    • Work-Based Paid Internship

    Employment

    • Job placements (on and off campus) with on-site supervision
    • Weekly jobsite performance evaluations
    • Classroom instruction on employment skills

    Socialization/Leisure

    • Involvement in various campus student organizations
    • Community involvement
    • Interaction with Clemson University students from all across campus
    • Mentor Program

    Employment Resources Provided

    • Each student will be given an electronic copy of the following upon graduation: resume, reference list, and other resources (i.e. tips for an interview, how to deposit a paper check, common employment accommodations)

    Counseling and Wellness

    • Weekly group counseling sessions with students
    • Individual counseling sessions available, upon student request
    • Personal and universal hygiene practices
    • Characteristics of healthy relationships
    • Access to FIKE gym membership
  • Applications and Admissions
    • Applicants must be between the ages of 18-30 upon acceptance. 
    • The applicant must have a mild cognitive and/or developmental disability that interferes with their academic performance according to the American Association on Intellectual and and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). 
    • The applicant must have sufficient emotional and independent stability to participate in all aspects of ClemsonLIFE HCP. 
    • The applicant should be able to safely function independently for at least 4-5 hour blocks of time including Academic Coursework, Extracurricular Activities, Employability/Work Internships, etc. 
    • The applicant must demonstrate the ability to accept responsibility for his/her actions and maintain respect for him/her and others and have no history of disruptive or aggressive behaviors. Note: ClemsonLIFE HCP does not have the personnel necessary to manage behavioral issues or independent living concerns.
    • The applicant must be able to get to and from campus and worksites on his/her own while providing his/her own means of transportation (i.e. bike, bus, scooter, Uber, etc).
    • The applicant must be independent in handling his/her own medication, specialized dietary and/or medical needs, as well as maintaining personal hygiene. Note: There is no personnel available to manage/administer medication. The ClemsonLIFE HCP staff takes no responsibility for specialized diets or medical needs. 
    • The applicant must demonstrate the desire to attend ClemsonLIFE Hospitality Certificate Program and adhere to the ClemsonLIFE policies regarding attendance and participation in the ClemsonLIFE Hospitality Certificate Program coursework and traditional Clemson University classes. 
    • The applicant must have the potential to successfully achieve his/her goals within the context of the ClemsonLIFE Hospitality Certificate program’s content and setting.

    Application Process

  • Open House

    Open House dates:

    • October 8, 2022 and March 4, 2023
    • The registration link for Fall will be posted September 1, 2022
    • The registration link for Spring will be posted February 1, 2023
  • Daily Schedule
    Monday and Wednesday:
    • 8:30 a.m. - Advising
    • 9:00 a.m. - PRTM academic class
    • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch
    • 1:15 p.m. - Work-Based skills lab
    Tuesday and Thursday:
    • 8:30 a.m. - Advising
    • 9:00 a.m. - ClemsonLIFE Academic Support
    • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch
    • 1:00 p.m. - Internship
    Friday
    • 9:00 a.m. - Internship
    • 12:00 p.m. - Lunch
    • 1:00 p.m. - Advising/Counseling/Academic Support

    *Internship hours increase during Year Two. 
    *This is a sample schedule that is subject to change.

    Social/Leisure/Recreation Opportunities

    Mentors also meet with students on a weekly basis to support and encourage ClemsonLIFE HCP students. The 650+ Volunteers will be available for a plethora of activities with our students. 

    • Tailgates and athletic games on Saturdays
    • Soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball and other sporting events
    • Students are buddies to young children with disabilities at TOP Soccer and Challenger Baseball.
    • Students have the opportunity to participate on the Tiger Sharks Swim Team, Equine Therapy, and Intramural Sports.
    • Campus-wide activities such as movies, bowling, concerts, shows, First Friday parade, homecoming events, etc.
    • Students join and attend university clubs and student organizations functions.
  • Calendar

    The ClemsonLIFE Program follows the University academic calendar, except for University exam weeks.

    Fall 2022

    • August 9- Hospitality Certificate Program Orientation
    • August 18- Advanced Program Move In
    • August 19- Advanced Program Orientation
    • August 21- Basic Program Move In
    • August 22-Basic Program Orientation
    • August 24- Fall Classes Begin
    • September 10- Home Football Game (vs. Furman)
    • September 17- Home Football Game (vs. LA Tech)
    • October 1- Home Football Game (vs. NC State)
    • October 8- Open House
    • October 22- Home Football Game (vs. Syracuse)
    • November 7-8- Fall Break
    • November 12- Home Football Game (vs. Louisville)
    • November 19- Home Football Game (vs. Miami)
    • November 23-25- Thanksgiving Break
    • November 26- Home Football Game (vs. USofC)
    • December 14- Last Day of Classes
    • December 15-January 10- Holiday Break

    Spring 2023

    • January 11- Spring Classes Begin
    • January 16- MLK Holiday- University Closed (no classes)
    • March 4- Open House
    • March 20-24- Spring Break
    • April 28- Last Day of Classes
    • April 29- Move Out Day and ClemsonLIFE Commencement Ceremony
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    What is the Hospitality Certificate Program?

    Hospitality Certificate Program provides young adults with cognitive disabilities the skills and competencies that will lead to a successful and fulfilling career in the Hospitality Industry. HCP students will receive a combination of classroom and employment experiences to prepare them for employment in the Hospitality Industry. 

    What are the specific jobs that students will be trained for in this program (both restaurant and hotel jobs)? 

    Hotel front of house - public area cleaner, receptionist; Hotel back of house - Housekeeper and houseperson; Restaurant front of house - greeter, food runner, busser, waiter/waitress; Restaurant back of house - steward/dishwasher.  The jobs will continue to build depending on each individual student and their abilities during their second year. 

    Can students have a job outside of the program? 

    Yes! Students can work after 3 pm during the week or on the weekends at a job that they find themselves. 

  • Costs

    The cost per-semester is listed below for the 2022/2023 school year.

    The below fees are invoiced directly from the ClemsonLIFE program:

    ClemsonLIFE Fees (Hospitality Certificate Program)

    Program Fees
    Covers costs associated with the ClemsonLIFE program (i.e. Operation Costs and Staff/Instructor Salaries) - $7,500

    Student Budget Fees
    Covers apartment groceries, laundry, attendance at sporting or theater events, field trips, etc. - Varies per student

    University Fees
    The below fees are paid directly to Clemson University and are included on the University bill:

    Academic Fee 
    Covers tuition fees. All students are required to enroll in a three hour credit hour Clemson University PRTM class outlined by the HCP program..

    • $633/credit hour for SC Residents - $1,899 per semester for SC Residents
    • $1,633/credit hour for Non-Residents - $4,899 per semester for Non-Residents

    Meal Plan (Optional for HCP)
    The ClemsonLIFE meal plan is designed specifically for the ClemsonLIFE students for dining hall access.

    • $1,463 per semester (100 meals + 250 paw points)

    Additional Fees 

    • Total cost, $460 per semester
    • Health Fee, $182 per semester

    *All fees reflect the cost for Fall 2023 and are subject to change.

  • Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for students with intellectual disabilities attending post-secondary programs. The following are resources to explore:

    Federal Student Aid: Students may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants receiving up to $6,495 per year. Here are resources on the steps to filling out the FAFSA form and things you need to know before filling out the FAFSA form.

    South Carolina Commission on Higher Education- Transition Program Scholarship: If you are a South Carolina resident we encourage you to complete your FAFSA so you will receive the CTP scholarship from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. This scholarship is NOT need based. The requirements to receive funds from the CTP Scholarship are 1) they must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, 2) a legal SC resident, and 3) be enrolled in a College Transition Program

    South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department: Students may be eligible for sponsorships.

    Some independent organizations and groups have offered scholarship money to select students.

    Ruby's Rainbow: Our goal at Ruby's Rainbow is to grant scholarships to adults with Down Syndrome seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes who feel that higher education is the right choice for them.

    O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund: The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down Syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in post-secondary educational programs.

    CSS Profile: The CSS form is not mandatory, but if you would like to be considered by ClemsonLIFE for Grant-in-aids you will have to fill out the form. Clemson University’s School Code is 5111. Cost for the CSS Profile is $25 for the initial application and one college or program report. Each additional college report is $16. More information can be found on the College Board website.

  • Resources

    sCollege is not for everyone. However, many students desire a college experience, including students with intellectual disabilities. It is for this reason that many colleges and universities now offer Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Programs, like ClemsonLIFE. These programs offer inclusive social activities; participation in college courses; along with instruction on independent living skills, employment skills, and social skills with the goal of independent living and gainful employment to the greatest extent possible for each student.

    Think College is a great resource for families of students with intellectual disabilities considering college. For a searchable database of Available Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Programs, see ThinkCollege Database.

    Online Resources

    Other Online Resources

    Publications

    • Collins, J. C., Ryan, J.B., Katsiyannis, A., Barrett, D. & Yell, M. (2014). Use of portable electronic assistive technology to improve independent job performance of young adults with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(3),15-30.
    • Hawkins, B.L., Stegall, J.B., Weber, M. & Ryan J.B. (2012). The Influence of a Yoga Exercise Program for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Yoga, 5, 151-156.
    • Hughes, E., Green, J.  & Ryan, J.B. (2011). The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 13-20.
  • ClemsonLIFE Research

    Recent ClemsonLIFE Research

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., Hirsch, S., Allen, A. (in press). Effects of Self-Monitoring on the Self-Determination of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability in a Post-Secondary Educational Setting. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

    *Walters, S., *Stierle, J., *Stockwell, D., *Carlson, A., & Ryan, J.B., (2021). Efficacy of video prompting using mobile technology to teach employment tasks to individuals with intellectual disability. Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education. 3(1), 1-21.

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., *Stierle, J. N. *Walters (2021). Meal planner application efficacy for increasing meal planning independence in individuals with intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 56(2), 225- 239.

    *Randall, K. N., Ryan, J. B., *Stierle, J. N. *Walters, & S. Bridges, W. (2021). Evaluating and Enhancing Driving Skills for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities through Simulator Training. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 36(4), 191-200.

    *Randall, K. N., *Johnson, F., *Adams, S. E., *Kiss, C. W., & Ryan, J. B. (2020). Use of iPhone task analysis application to increase employment related chores for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 35(1), 26-36.

    Ryan, J. B., *Randall, K.N., *Walters, E., & *Morash-MacNeil, V. (2019). Employment and independent living outcomes of a mixed model post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 50, 61-72.

    *Morash-MacNeil, V., *Johnson, F., & Ryan, J. B. (2018). Effectiveness of assistive technology for individuals with intellectual disability in the workplace: A meta-analysis. Journal of Special Education Technology, 33(1), 15-26.

    Collins, J. C., Ryan, J.B., Katsiyannis, A., Barrett, D. & Yell, M. (2014). Use of portable electronic assistive technology to improve independent job performance of young adults with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(3), 15-30.

    Hawkins, B.L., Stegall, J.B., Weber, M. & Ryan J.B. (2012). The Influence of a Yoga Exercise Program for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Yoga, 5, 151-156.

    Hughes, E., Green, J.  & Ryan, J.B. (2011). The use of assistive technology to improve time management skills of a young adult with an intellectual disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(3), 13-20.

    *Co-author was a student at time of preparation

  • General Information

    ClemsonLIFE | 101 Gantt Circle  | Suite G-01 | Clemson University | Clemson, SC 29634 | 864-656-0501 | clemsonlife@g.clemson.edu

  • ClemsonLIFE Faculty and Staff

    Dr. Joe RyanDr. Joe Ryan  | Program Director
    Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professorship for ClemsonLIFE
    jbryan@clemson.edu

    Erica WaltersErica Walters  | Program Manager
    escheff@g.clemson.edu

    Kirri NelsonKirri Nelson  | Administrative Coordinator
    kanelso@g.clemson.edu

    Courtney Dukes Courtney Dukes | Freshmen Instructor
    cmdukes@g.clemson.edu

    Misty SwineyMisty Swiney  | Sophomore Instructor
    mswiney@g.clemson.edu

    Hunter GossettHunter Gossett |  Junior Instructor
    hgosset@g.clemson.edu

    Kim Kempf Kim Kempf |  Senior Instructor
    kzogran@g.clemson.edu

    Katie DobsonKatie Dobson  | Basic Program Employment Instructor
    kcooley@g.clemson.edu

    Sarah McAlpineSarah McAlpine |  Advanced Program Employment Instructor
    skudevi@g.clemson.edu

    Kelli CooleyKelli Cooley |  Hospitality Certificate Program Employment Instructor
    kellic@g.clemson.edu

    Lisa WilsonLisa Wilson |  Teaching Assistant
    lnwilso@g.clemson.edu

    Alex CarlsonAlex Carlson |  Ph.D. Student – Special Education
    acarls2@g.clemson.edu

    Derek Gathercole Derek Gathercole | Independent Living Assistant
    dgather@g.clemson.edu

    Angelina PesceAngelina Pesce | Independent Living Assistant
    anpesce@g.clemson.edu

  • ClemsonLIFE Students

    Advanced Program

    Frankie Antonelli
    Frankie Antonelli

    Josh Brown
    Josh Brown

    Patrick Devitt
    Patrick Devitt

    Chris Garcia
    Chris Garcia

    Ellie George
    Ellie George

    Graham Bitzer
    Graham Bitzer

    Blakeley Kress
    Blakeley Kress

    Ashley Mccormick
    Ashley McCormick

    Kendall Montgomery
    Kendall Montgomery

    Emily Parkey Ferguson
    Emily Parkey Ferguson

    Mary Catherine Price
    Mary Catherine Price

    Tanner Smith
    Tanner Smith

    Tyler Trout
    Tyler Trout

    Kalim Wigfall
    Kalim Wigfall

    Noah Wynne
    Noah Wynne

    Basic Program

    Amanda Altemus
    Amanda Altemus

    Grace Clements
    Grace Clements

    Nataleigh Deal
    Nataleigh Deal

    Taylor Freeman
    Taylor Freeman

    Ross Hicks
    Ross Hicks

    Hunter Hopkins
    Hunter Hopkins

    Bryson Marsh
    Bryson Marsh

    Lauren Peterson
    Lauren Peterson

    Emily Terzich
    Emily Terzich

    Jon Wesley Barber
    Jon Wesley Barber

    Katie Beck<
    Katie Beck

    Davian Dean
    Davian Dean

    Madi Dolby
    Madi Dolby

    Alex Eveland<
    Alex Eveland

    Nicolas Geoffroy
    Nicolas Geoffroy

    Jessica Giddens<
    Jessica Giddens

    Katherine Jones
    Katherine Jones

    Zachary Kroeger
    Zachary Kroeger

    Kevin Mackey
    Kevin Mackey

    Anne McGuire
    Anne McGuire

    Ryan Mosley
    Ryan Mosley

    Leah Shelton
    Leah Shelton

    Alana Spencer
    Alana Spencer

Check Out The Fun

ClemsonLIFE Visits Clemson Football

ClemsonLIFE Goes Greek

ClemsonLIFE Experiences

ClemsonLIFE Move-In Day

College of Education "Best In Class"
College of Education "Best In Class" | 101 Gantt Circle