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The Arc Jacksonville

A partnership between The Arc Jacksonville and UNF

For almost fifteen years UNF and the Arc of Jacksonville have had a profound impact on Arc students and the UNF campus. The OCT mission is to provide an innovative college experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities or differences, while providing transformational learning experiences to university students, college educators, and community leaders.


A COMMUNITY WHERE DISABILITY IS A DISTINCTION WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE

The Arc in collaboration with UNF students, staff and faculty create a community where disability is a distinction without a difference. The partnership provides an innovative college experience for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, while providing transformational learning experiences to UNF students, educators and community leaders. Arc students participate in all aspects of college life by auditing UNF courses, joining campus organizations and clubs, and participating in recreational and leisure activities that are enjoyed by all UNF students.


IMPACT ON THE OCT STUDENTS

The Arc Jacksonville On Campus Transition at the University of North Florida (OCT) was created to provide young adults with intellectual disabilities with vital missing services and supports that will assist them in successfully transitioning into adulthood and to live a productive life within the community. Students participate in all aspects of college life by auditing UNF courses, joining campus organizations and clubs, and participating in recreational/leisure activities that are enjoyed by all UNF students. Students are mentored in academic, social, and recreation activities through mentoring programs with UNF student peers.


UNF IS “ALL IN.”

The campus is deeply engaged in this process.  By 2018, almost 200 faculty members have had OCT students in their classes; more than 1.200 students have served as mentors; 10 AmeriCorps members support the partnership.


PREPARING OCT STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE

Individuals with disabilities have significantly higher rates of unemployment than others. The OCT program focuses on self-determination, independence and self-sufficiency, with an emphasis on developing skills that can lead to employability. It is difficult to measure the OCT students’ sense of accomplishment as they learn to adapt, thrive and "graduate" from the program. The program provides a stepping stone to quasi-independent living with respect to both skills and credentials. OCT students have been employed by 25 local businesses, including the Mayo Clinic, Baptist Hospital, YMCA, Publix, First Coast Service Options, New Step Community Home, Texas Roadhouse, W&O Supply Company, SAFE Management, UNF Fine Arts Center, UNF Human Resources, UNF Disability Resource Center, Sam's Club, Mary Kay, Gerald P. Jones CPA, Winn-Dixie, XP Events, Starbucks, and McDonald's.

 

 

For more information on The Arc Jacksonville, please visit: https://www.arcjacksonville.org/