Career Independent Living and Learning Studies

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East Stroudsburg University College of Education, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation: Non-Degree University Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Program Studies Overview

Through the resources of a Pennsylvania State Higher Education University at East Stroudsburg University, the Career and Independent Living and Learning Studies (CILLS) program will help young adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities prepare to lead productive lives in their communities. We believe that everyone has the right to enhance their learning and realize their personal potential through higher education. The CILLS program supports students with disabilities to have a high quality learning experience within a university setting to foster learning, establish friendships, build self-confidence and work toward achieving their goals to work and live in an inclusive community. We will set a high standard for excellence in providing individuals with disabilities a positive living and learning experience.

The program participants will be involved in learning experiences designed to meet specific individual needs, traditional opportunities of interest that are available to all students at the university, and an internship that will provide them with practical work and community experiences. This includes living in off campus housing and learning to function among their peers without disabilities on campus. In essence, the program activities will include personal development situations combined with opportunities to develop essential skills for independent living and future employment. The CILLS program promotes self-advocacy and will utilize mentors and peer supports to accommodate the different learning abilities of participates in all learning domains.

This program is a non-degree certificate program that will operate on a three year cycle. The learning experiences will be instructed by the Coordinator of the program with oversight by Domenico Cavaiuolo, faculty in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation. The following will provide a general overview of the learning domains that the CILL’s program will offer.

Admission Criteria:

Interested candidates should:

  • - Be 18-26 years old
  • - Have demonstrated the ability to learn and participate in classroom and work settings
  • - Demonstrate an interest in possessing educational, employment and life experiences that are necessary to attain substantial independence upon completion from CILLS


  • -Full-time 3 year certificate program
  • - CILLS curriculum and inclusive field experiences
  • -University campus extracurricular Activities


Personal Academic Enrichment

  • -First Year Seminar
  • - Plans/Skills for Learning Success
  • - Social/Academic Literacy

Vocational Development

  • - Career Awareness/Exploration
  • - Job Search/Internship

Socialization and Leisure

  • - Communication Strategies
  • - Human Relationships and Sexuality
  • - Health and Wellness

Independent Life

  • - Personal Finances I & II
  • - Intro to Computers & Technology
  • - Planning for the Future
  • - Daily Living I & II
  • - Community Resources