Three students are living their Auburn dream among 30,000 fellow student peers and they are eager for more classmates to join them.
Auburn University’s EAGLES program, or Education to Accomplish Growth in Life Experiences for Success, is a postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities ages 18-24.
The program, which began in 2018 as a part of the College of Education’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling, is now accepting applications for its second cohort in the fall of 2019.
“Our EAGLES students have spread their wings since joining the Auburn Family in August and are soaring to new heights as individuals and as a cohort,” said Betty Patten, Ph.D., EAGLES program director. “Aside from attending Auburn University and EAGLES-specific courses, our students have all gained paid employment here on campus, serve as College of Education Student Ambassadors, and volunteer through AU Involve’s Project IMPACT initiative. The EAGLES students are navigating campus and their social calendars independently and are looking forward to serving as mentors to a new group of EAGLES in the fall.”
The EAGLES program provides an opportunity for the students to engage in a collegiate on-campus residential experience that focuses on academic enrichment, social and career development, and independence. Each student works at a campus job in addition to taking classes and living in the Village Residence Hall.
The EAGLES program provides students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to network and build relationships with their peers that extend past their time in the program. This enables the students to carry the spirit of Auburn with them past their time here as students and into their lives as adults. The EAGLES students are paving the way for future generations to share in these same opportunities.
Inaugural EAGLES class members include Bradley Basden, Josh Greiner, and Anna Moates, whose sister, Ashley Moates, was the 2017 Miss Auburn with a platform focused on making dreams come true for people with disabilities.
“The Auburn Family, both current students and alumni, have helped support the growth of our students and the program by connecting our EAGLES with campus partners and organizations,” Patten said. “Our EAGLES participate in the United Sound Band, AU Singers, Diamond Dolls, campus events, and athletic events. Additionally, our WINGS peer mentors, or Warmhearted Individuals Nurturing Great Success, not only assist the EAGLES students with their academic courses, but also help ensure that they are engaged during the evenings and weekends while attending Auburn. As a member of the AU Singers, Anna is not only able to participate in a campus organization that aligns with her preferences and interests, she is able to follow in her two older sisters’ footsteps, who were in Auburn’s show choir. This opportunity has meant so much to Anna and her family and has also facilitated genuine friendships that extend past the stage.”
Applications for the 2019-20 academic year are being accepted online until April 5 for consideration for an on-campus interview. Interviews will be held the weekend of April 26.