SPRINGFIELD – Starting next January, up to ten young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will attend Missouri State University.
They will have the full college experience – living on campus and attending classes.
Bear POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience) is a 2 1/2 year inclusive college program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning out of high school.
About Bear POWER
Bear POWER focuses on academics, independent living and gainful employment.
The first group of students will begin the program in January 2019. They will live in a university residence hall and attend classes with other students. The program will run for five semesters, not including summer. The first cohort will graduate in May 2021.
Students will audit two classes each semester. They will also be involved in activities that will prepare them for jobs when they complete the program.
The Bear POWER program model has been developed using best practices derived from the Think College inclusive postsecondary model.
Bear POWER is currently accepting applications for its first cohort. The application deadline is April 2.
Become a mentor
Each Bear POWER participant will be matched with up to five other Missouri State students called Bear Blazers. Bear Blazers are student mentors in areas of academics, social, and health and wellness.
Students interested in applying to be a Bear Blazer can attend an informational meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 21 in Plaster Student Union, Room 308.
For more information, contact Rachel Heinz, director of Bear POWER, at 417-827-4618.