Skip to main content

Program Overview

Campus Life

What do you think of when you hear the words “the college experience?”  Was this the time in your life when you met your best friend, your spouse, or a potential employer?  Academics are of the utmost importance at EAGLE Academy at Georgia Southern University, but being engaged in campus life is a critical component.  It is a great time to be exposed to new people, ideas, cultures, etc.  It is a chance to develop personally and professionally.  As such, EAGLE Academy encourages our students to explore campus life opportunities with the numerous student organizations and activities that are available on campus that may interest them.  Our students have access to all of the same student organizations, campus offices, and services that all Georgia Southern University students use.

Individual Program of Study

EAGLE Academy is committed to the inclusion of students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in all aspects of the University and the surrounding community.  Students will direct the development of their individual program of study through initial and on-going STAR Person-Centered Planning.  The Program of Study is a unique and individualized plan for achievement in academic areas, independent living skills, career development skills, and university life.

Each Program of Study includes 50% of coursework in existing Georgia Southern University courses in areas of interest to the student.  These courses will be taken for credit or audit as deemed appropriate.  The remaining 50% consists of work internships and EAGLE Academy classes in career, social, academic, and life skills development.  The students’ individual needs and goals will determine the courses that are taken.

Click here to view a sample of a student schedule

Career Development

Securing paid, meaningful employment for our graduates is a critical component of the EAGLE Academy vision.  Career exploration and training are driven by each student’s interests and plans for the future.

Career development occurs in and outside of the classroom. Within the Academy, students will explore career options and learn the skills necessary to function in a work environment.  Students will have access to the career services office just as every other Georgia Southern University student.

All students complete internships as part of their program requirements.  At first, the internships will most likely be on campus to provide maximum support as needed.  Beginning in the third semester, students will be placed in local businesses within the community whenever possible to start their transition to full-time employment in an area of their interest.

Students will receive support at their internships in order to help students fully learn the required job tasks and enhance soft skills.  Support will fade so that students are working completely independently.  Support is personalized and based on the student’s skills in the workplace.

Peer Mentor/ Program Supports?

Students will be provided with support from many personnel within EAGLE Academy. All students in the program will be classified as a mentee, meaning they will receive support from mentors or coaches. The program will include the use of peer mentors to support goal setting, academics, and social skills. Peer mentors will meet with their mentee frequently to assist the mentee with setting goals, creating their schedule for the week, and reflecting on goal progress. The mentors will assist the student with setting individualized goals that address independent living skills, academic skills, social skills, career development skills, and other individualized skills that have been identified. Academic mentors will serve as a tutor, study partner, and class peer for the inclusive classes, as needed by mentees. In social settings, mentors will serve as guides for mentees as they transition to a larger college campus and independent living. These social mentors will be able to better relate to students and provide advice for what helped them when they transitioned to college.

EAGLE Academy believes the relationship between mentors and mentees can be beneficial to both parties and help all students gain even more from their college experience. Our hope is that all individuals involved with EAGLE Academy gain insight and understanding of the capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

EAGLE Academy Program Director responsibilities:

  • Assist students with registration
  • Utilize the Students Transitioning to Adult Roles (STAR) person-centered planning model to design program of study for the student
  • Guide student through an individualized program of study
  • Communicate with instructors to develop and implement modifications and accommodations
  • Work with local school districts to identify how to best prepare students for postsecondary education
  • Coordinate internships for EAGLE Academy students
  • Maintain student records to show progress in areas of academics, life skills, social skills, independent living, and internships

Mentor responsibilities:

Peer Coach:

  • Assist the mentee with setting goals
  • Meet twice a week with mentee to reflect on goal progress

Academic Mentor:

  • Attend inclusive classes with mentees
  • Study with students
  • Provide tutoring if needed
  • Schedule studying with other class members if appropriate

Social Mentor:

  • Work with mentee to create schedule that allows time for mentoring
  • Advise the mentee on areas around campus to become involved in that will compliment and utilize the mentee’s strengths
  • Attend events with mentee

All Mentors/Coaches:

  • Openly and honestly report observed strengths and weaknesses to Program Director
  • Acknowledge that the mentor/mentee relationship is beneficial to both students
  • Maintain confidentiality agreements and only disclose information that the mentee identifies as permissible

Mentee responsibilities:

  • Utilize self-advocacy skills to work with the Program Director to schedule classes of interest and on track with career interest
  • Follow schedule and attend classes and all meetings with mentors/coaches
  • Clearly communicate needs, likes, and dislikes with mentor/coaches
  • Keep all needed materials for meetings with mentors/coaches organized and in a notebook
  • Follow appropriate protocol of letting mentors/coaches know if unable to meet, and work out a time to reschedule
  • Let mentor/coaches know if there are additional academic supports needed
  • Acknowledge that the mentor/mentee relationship is beneficial to both students

“View the video below to learn more about being a mentor”

If interested in becoming a peer mentor for Eagle Academy, please complete the peer mentor interest form.

Residential Life

Students enrolled in EAGLE Academy will reside on campus their first year in the program. Second year living situations will be determined through the person-centered planning process. Students will also have a complete dining plan.  To view all of the dining plans and packages available visit the Eagle Dining page. EAGLE Academy students will have an Eagle ID and have access to everything on campus that every other GS student has available to them.

Last updated: 1/19/2021