Judson program for students with intellectual disabilities receives donations

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that tuition, including room and board, for RISE students is $24,674 for 2018-2019.

Judson University's program for students with intellectual disabilities recently was awarded donations for student scholarships from two Barrington-area foundations.

The Elgin Christian liberal arts university received the first of three annual donations of an undisclosed amount from the Foglia Family Foundation toward the Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment, or RISE, program. The Barrington Area Community Foundation also donated $5,000 for a scholarship to be awarded to a Barrington-area student enrolled in the RISE program this fall. Donations received will go toward tuition costs for RISE students.

“We are excited to know that the RISE program has scholarship monies to award for several years, thanks to our new friends at the Foglia Family Foundation,” said Kathy Lambert, RISE program director. “There are so many deserving causes in the Barrington area, and we were inspired by our fellow (BACF) recipients and humbled to be selected.”

Annual tuition, fees and boarding cost for full-time Judson students is $39,274, though many students pay less through various scholarship and aid programs. Tuition, room and board for RISE students is $24,674 for 2018-19.

Few Christian colleges nationwide offer residential programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

Judson's RISE program kicked off in the fall of 2017 with 12 students. Those students completed the first year of the program in May.

The two-year, postsecondary certificate program provides students 18 to 25 years old with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to experience residential college life and develop independent living and work skills.

RISE students fully participate in classes, internships and Judson activities, events, clubs and organizations. They can choose from among six subject areas of concentration — business and entrepreneurship, Christian ministries, creative arts, education, health and wellness, and math and technology.

Students start off the first semester in seven self-contained classes teaching professional skills, person-centered planning, independent living skills, consumer math and money management, current events, personal fitness and wellness, and daily living with Christian values. In semesters two, three and four, RISE students get to audit a traditional classroom within their chosen concentration and in the future could earn college credit. They also are placed in on-campus internships based on their strengths and interests.

“It was an incredible year,” said Brian Madaj, program assistant director. “Our students thrived, and the entire Judson community was impacted in very positive ways. We learned so much and are continually improving our program.”

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