College of DuPage COACH program accepting applications for fall 2020 cohort program

  • Adults with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities can apply for the COACH program (Career Opportunities and ACHievement) at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

    Adults with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities can apply for the COACH program (Career Opportunities and ACHievement) at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of College of DuPage

Submitted by COD Newsroom
Updated 11/22/2019 9:46 PM

The COACH program (Career Opportunities and ACHievement) at College of DuPage is now accepting applications for the fall 2020 cohort.

Offered through COD's Continuing Education program, the two-year, application-based program targets adults with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities.


It also provides post high school transition students with additional educational training aimed at preparing them for meaningful employment.

Many learning challenged students hit educational roadblocks after high school, said Michael Duggan, COD Counselor for Students with Disabilities.

COACH provides a valuable bridge to students, focusing on academics, social and independence skills and career exploration.

"These students are happy to join a community," Duggan said. "After high school, a lot of these students are told they are done with educational opportunities. That couldn't be further from the truth.

These students are capable of holding jobs and living independently, but they fall into that gap where they are not high functioning enough to get an associate degree at COD.

COACH is now an option for them, and they can get the training to have fuller lives."

The two-year program is broken up into four semesters. Year one is focused on skill building.

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Students review and build skills in fundamental math, literacy and computer technology, and begin to explore career paths.

In the final year, students gain practical experience by engaging in an unpaid internship on campus for approximately 15 hours a week.

In addition to the academic aspect of the program, students are encouraged to participate in campus social life by joining clubs and participating in campus activities.

Students are paired with a COD Buddy, a student trained in working with students with intellectual disabilities. COD Buddies act as ambassadors and mentors to COACH students, providing them a connection to the social aspect of the college experience.

To apply for COACH, applicants must submit a completed application, their most recent IEP and two letters of recommendation with at least one from a transition teacher or special education resource personnel.


Applicants will also complete an in-person interview independently with program staff and must be able to be independent on campus during the program.

The application deadline for the fall 2020 cohort is Friday, May 15.

Learn more and apply at

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 25,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

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