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Ready For Life at Ferris

In collaboration with Ferris State University, Ready For Life Academy (RFLA) provides postsecondary educational experiences at Ferris' Big Rapids, Michigan campus for college-aged individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.

RFLA provides support systems to ensure each student is provided the resources they need to succeed in the University environment. The RFLA instructor supports each student in daily personal planning and partners with Ferris State University professors to adapt the academic materials from the college courses each student is taking. College students also volunteer as academic and social mentors to RFLA students.

Contact Sandy Baker at [email protected] to learn more

Meet Sandy Baker, a Ready for Life Instructor

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Program Features and Goals

  • To prepare students for paid employment and independent living
  • Interaction and involvement on a college campus with same age peers
  • Lifelong learning model based on students’ individual goals
  • Instruction in the core areas of transition by a certified special educator
  • Participation in college classes based on professor approval
  • Participation in campus activities
  • Volunteer job placements on campus and in the community
  • Community living support services for after school support (add on service)
  • Two academic years, including summers

Learning Plan

Each student begins the program by building a student-centered learning plan to develop realistic learning objectives and identify areas of natural talent to be further developed. Based on the student’s interests and abilities the program offers opportunities for the student to audit or earn college credit. The courses are intentionally selected for the RFLA students to attend. The curriculum used at RFLA focuses on transition skills to help students gain independence and job skills.

Ready for Life Class Descriptions

Cost Structure

This program is not eligible for any federal financial aid, federal financial aid loans or private education loan options. 

Mentorship Opportunities

Ready for Life Academy is looking for mentors who build reciprocal relationships with the RFLA students each semester. We need you to assist us in our classroom, in our college classes, in our residence halls, in the cafeteria, in clubs and organizations and in the community. This mentorship can fulfill volunteer hours, service learning hours and potential internships. It’s also a fantastic resume building opportunity. 

To learn more, contact Sandy Baker at [email protected] or (231) 750-1205.