REACH Program

A four-year inclusive program for students with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Operating as usual

07/21/2023

We are sad to announce the retirement of our founder and executive director Edie Cusack.

"The REACH Program is my greatest professional accomplishment. Developing and creating an inclusive college program that changes the lives of students with intellectual disabilities was a dream come true. I was truly blessed to have had this opportunity and can confidently walk away from the college knowing the program and its mission of full inclusion will continue. It is time for me to carry on the mission of full inclusion to other places."
Edie Cusack

07/19/2023

Every REACH graduate in 2023 left The College employed. We received the announcement that a graduate is getting married. Graduates of the REACH Program have been promoted at work and received employee of the month based on stellar performance, not because they have a disability. Our goal is to provide quality inclusive postsecondary education that honors students dignity and fosters self-determination. We are proud of the successes of students and graduates of the REACH Program. It is through community support that we are able to fulfill this mission. In honor of Disability Pride Month, we ask for you to join us in celebration through donation. Please visit https://reach.cofc.edu/support-the-reach-program/index.php to show your support.

07/12/2023

Looking to get involved on campus? Not Just Another Club may be the organization for you! What’s involved you ask? Make a friend and hang out with said friend. Please email [email protected] for details!

07/05/2023

We are always so excited when an alumni stops by.

So great to see you and congrats on the purchase of your home!

07/04/2023

Happy 4th of July! The team is currently enjoying fireworks and hotdogs (and red, white and blue donuts, obviously) and will be back tomorrow. Hope you are having an amazing day with your friends and families.

07/03/2023

Application for Fall 2024 is now open! Visit reach.cofc.edu/how-to-apply to get started. We can’t wait to meet the potential new members of the REACH 2024 cohort. College is possible!

Photos from REACH Program's post 06/30/2023

I think we can all agree that we are a little tired of wearing masks (unless it is stylish like this one). But did you know that masking is common amongst neurodivergent individuals? Masking involves “hiding behaviors and identifiers that make one’s condition or differences apparent.” Not only is it exhausting to curb behaviors and overcompensate, but masking “impedes actual work and causes burnout, absenteeism, turnover, and productivity loss.” Education on neurodivergence will benefit employees, employers, students and professors so that everyone has the support they need. The more you know!

Check out the article about inclusion in the workplace from ADDitude
Inclusion in the Workplace: Supporting Invisible Disabilities Like ADHD, Autism: https://www.additudemag.com/inclusion-in-the-workplace-features-invisible-disabilities-adhd/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=adult_june_2023&utm_content=060623&goal=0_d9446392d6-4e0d483fc9-297085849

06/28/2023

Just because schools out for summer, doesn’t mean that the learning stops! We know Georgianna will be reading but podcasts, documentaries and YouTube videos totally count as educational tools. What about a new hobby? Yoga, painting, photography – you name it – will teach new skills that can be applied to daily life. Check out this article for suggestions to keep the cognition going!

https://www.perpetualpageturner.com/ways-to-keep-learning/

06/26/2023

Learning disability (n.): a disability that affects the acquisition of knowledge or skills, in particular any of various neurodevelopmental conditions affecting learning and use of specific academic skills such as reading, writing, or mathematics.

The third week in June is Learning Disabilities Awareness Week, so as the week comes to a close, it's time for a knowledge break. Note: learning disabilities are different from intellectual disabilities but the two are often concurrent. Learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and visual processing disorders, and nonverbal learning disabilities. According to LDOnLine, “As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.” The more you know the more you can share!

Fun fact, the books pictured feature main characters that are neurodivergent. Keep reading y’all!

Photos from REACH Program's post 06/21/2023

We are as excited as Isabel and Qynn to welcome students to campus for orientation. Hope y’all have an amazing time learning about your new home!

Photos from REACH Program's post 06/09/2023

Congratulations to Lindy Coleman recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Staff Member Presidential Service Award! Your work as Director of the Center of Student Learning is such a valuable resource to all students at the College of Charleston. We are particularly grateful at the REACH Program for your introducing freshman students to the CSL and providing supports as they transition into academic life as college students. So deserving of this recognition, and we look forward to continuing to work with you!

P.S. Lindy, you will receive your award for Best Angel Food Cake shortly.

06/08/2023

Don't know if Baby K is going to be a boy or a girl but know they will be a Tennessee fan! Loved celebrating your Kendra and cannot wait to meet Baby K! You are going to be an amazing mama 🥳

06/05/2023

Another gorgeous day in Charleston! Photo cred: student in the REACH Program. Remember us when you are a famous photographer.

Photos from REACH Program's post 06/02/2023

Did you know that it is National Donut Day? We did. The Reach Team are donut enthusiasts. We celebrate all year long.

06/01/2023

While the students are away, the staff will…work! And by work, we obviously mean making a post-it visual to reflect on this past semester. So much fun celebrating our successes and discussing areas improvement in preparation for August!

05/30/2023

Gather round for story time! Junior Support Coordinator Amanda joined the team last fall and learned about the multitude of inclusive post-secondary education programs across the country. A close friend has a child with IDD and did not think that college was possible. So, Amanda passed on her IPSE knowledge. In April, the student was accepted to Bear POWER at Missouri State University. Pictured are members of REACH and Bear POWER staff celebrating the students’ next chapter on his journey of self-determination. So grateful to be part of this moment!

Photos from REACH Program's post 05/22/2023

Amanda, Edie and Georgianna had the best time at the SEPSEA Conference in Nashville. So great to connect with inclusive post-secondary education programs around the southeast. Shout out to Nora and Adam for joining us from afar! College is possible!

05/19/2023

The REACH Program Director’s Awards was given to the Center for International Education. They have increased awareness of inclusion in post-secondary education at the College of Charleston and in the community. Studying abroad is a big part of the college experience, and we are happy to announce that students in the REACH Program will have the opportunity to do so! Big win for inclusive post-secondary education. Congratulations on your very deserved award and thank you for working with us.

05/17/2023

The REACH Program Collaborators Award is given to an individual or department who has worked collaboratively with the REACH Program to uphold the values and ideals of an inclusive post-secondary education. This year, the award was given to Karen Hauschild and the Academic Advising and Planning Center. We appreciate the work of the Advising team with students and support coordinators to develop an education plan that leads to a career!

05/15/2023

Congratulations and thank you to Sara Coleman recipient of this years REACH Program Professor Recognition Award. This award is given to an individual who has upheld the values of the REACH Program by implementing Universal Design for Learning practices while providing students with an inclusive post-secondary education. We are grateful to have a professor like you to help students all students at College of Charleston succeed.

Photos from REACH Program's post 05/12/2023

Congratulations Class of 2023! We can’t wait to see what you do next!

05/10/2023

The semester is wrapping up here at CofC, but the work does not end! When we are not prepping for the fall, giving back to the community is a great way to spend our time. Ashley says, “volunteering takes the focus off of what we are dealing with and puts it toward a better cause.” What a great way to disconnect and practice gratitude! Where do you like to volunteer?

Photos from REACH Program's post 05/08/2023

Executive Director Edie Cusack had the opportunity to attend The Arc Legislative Summit in Washington D.C. to educate policy makers on the importance of inclusive post-secondary education. What a great opportunity to meet with likeminded individuals and learn what actions our government is taking to support disability rights.

Photos from REACH Program's post 05/05/2023

What a successful celebration of another amazing year at the REACH Program! Thank you students, mentors, tutors, faculty, staff and community partners for your time, positivity and dedication. Congratulations to our award recipients for outstanding commitment to helping students on their journey to living self-determined lives. Amanda, Arianne, Ashley, Edie, Georgianna, Kendra, Lisa, Nora, Tia – you’re all going to Disney World! JK but your hard work day-in and day-out deserves recognition. Thank you for everything you do and grateful to know and work with you!

05/03/2023

Are you finished exams? Or still climbing the metaphorical finals rock? Either way smile because you’re awesome and crushing those exams!

Photos from REACH Program's post 05/02/2023

Gimme a break; gimme a break. Breaking at the kitty cat bar. Sing it with me now, or meow if you will! Did you know that pets help increase productivity and manage anxiety? Thanks for the knowledge American Heart Association ! Sign me up for this study break!

05/01/2023

Remember to stop and smell the roses (or whatever flower you can find). May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we know these exams are stressful! Take a break and enjoy the beautiful campus around us. It’s good for the soul. We promise!

04/28/2023

When studying inside isn't cutting it anymore...a change of scenery will do the trick!

04/27/2023

Happy Reading Day! You’ve got this!

04/26/2023

It’s Administrative Professionals Day and oh, what would we do without our own administrative coordinator Georgianna May?!?!?

Thank you for everything you do and for always doing it so well! We are so grateful to have you on our team! 👏👏👏👏👏👏

04/24/2023

As the semester comes to a close, we look at where we’ve been and where we want to be. Path plans ensure that our actions are in line which our goals. We highlight our strengths, appreciate our support systems and acknowledge the work to come. Let’s gooooooo!

04/21/2023

Final stop this week is appreciation station for mentors! Snagging coffee at Kudu, running around Waterfront Park, finding the perfect ‘fit’ on King – y’all are out there socializing and exercising with students in the REACH Program. With these great friendships and memories, there is no chance of FOMO! Thank you for your time, support and kindness particularly regarding my attempt at hip lingo.

Photos from REACH Program's post 04/19/2023

Continuing on the gratitude train! All aboard! In observance of National Student Employment Week, we had to show our tutors appreciation for being amazing resources to students in the REACH Program. Pictured are Francesca and Ashlyn – thank you for working with us and for your stellar modeling skills. Work that bag!

Photos from REACH Program's post 04/17/2023

A big shout out and congratulations to Andrew, a student assistant living and working alongside students in the REACH Program! Freshman support coordinator Kendra nominated Andrew for Student Employee of the Year at College of Charleston. “He embodies the mission of REACH to assist our students with growing to be independent, self-determined adults. With that, Andrew provides crucial instructions for our students to assist them with their academics, career development, independent living skills and socialization,” says Kendra. Thank you, Andrew, for your dedication and look forward to working with you next year!

04/14/2023

They’re graduating y’all! MUSC Occupational Therapy interns Lindsey and Maddie have completed their capstone work with the REACH Program. Thank you so much for sharing your time, experience and kindness with students in the REACH Program and the REACH Team. You will be missed, but we wish you all the best with your future endeavors. Time to don that cap and gown ladies! Congratulations!

04/10/2023

Nominating College of Charleston for one of the ‘Most Beautiful College Campuses in America’ … I mean how pretty is this place? Architectural Digest and Travel Leisure thank you for your consideration.

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Videos (show all)

Will's Take on the REACH Program
Matthew's Take on the REACH Program

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66 George Street
Charleston, SC
29424

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