89 %

of UI REACH graduates are employed

a year after graduation

UI REACH students explore career options, prepare for internships, and build workplace readiness skills through course work, setting realistic career goals, mock interviews, field trips, and special guest presentations.  

With one of the highest placement rates in the nation among similar programs, most UI REACH students are employed a year after graduation.

In the first year, UI REACH students explore career options, prepare for internships, and build workplace readiness skills through course work, setting realistic career goals, mock interviews, field trips, and special guest presentations. The second year involves job search strategies and work experience internships.

Student in Voxman smiling
Two people collaborating at desks

UI REACH staff supports students in their interviews, first day of work, and over time as needed. Hard skills are learned on the job through training provided by the internship site. Regularly scheduled site visits from UI REACH staff that include reports and data analysis help guide any interventions and feedback needed for the students’ improvement and success.

UI REACH includes two key factors for success in career development:

  • Career Development Courses
    • The focus for career development courses is on learning workplace readiness skills, identifying career paths through assessments and person-centered planning, job search skills, and self-advocacy in the workplace.
  • Work-based Learning Experiences
    • Experiential learning opportunities provided through job shadows, mock interviews, job fairs, informational interviews, and internships
  • Internships
    • Students enrolled in Year 2-4 participate in campus and community internships in either volunteer or paid positions. Internships provide opportunities for students to work in their chosen fields or to explore new work environments.
    • UI REACH staff are CESP Certified (Certified Employment Support Professional). Staff develop internships sites based on student interest and skill level. Career Staff support students through job coaching, evaluations, and employer communication.
  • Year 3 and 4
    • Emphasis is on each students’ person-centered plan and career goals.
    • This may involve utilizing job search skills in a natural setting by searching, applying, and interviewing for paid employment with staff support.
    • Students may focus on building skills and advancing their career development through specialized positions or obtaining credentials or certificates
    • Expanded shifts and flexible scheduling for courses
    • Transition support for employment post-graduation

To earn a Career Focus Area, students complete a 60-hour internship and coursework in specific career cluster.

Career seminars provide students with a greater understanding of individual career clusters. Coursework includes identifying related careers in the field, training and education required, workplace tasks, wages, and employment trends.

  • Education (childcare)
  • Skilled Trade
  • Information Technology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Business Support
  • Hospitality
  • Health Services
  • Human Services
  • Parks and Natural Resources
  • Retail and Marketing
  • Advanced Customer Service
  • Entrepreneurship

ACT WorkKeys -National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

The National Career Readiness Certificate is a portable, evidence-based credential that documents essential skills needed for workplace success. The NCRC is earned by completing the three WorkKeys Assessments: Applied Math, Workplace Documents and Graphic Literacy. UI REACH offers WorkKeys Labs for students to practice their skills using the ACT online curriculum. Assessment scores qualify students for the NCRC and are also utilized in various career development activities.

Person-Centered Credentials and Certificates

Based on individual career goals, students may earn additional certificates or credentials related to their career path. Certificates may include:

  • CPR and First Aid Training and certification
  • ServSafe Food Handler and Allergen certification
  • Essentials Child Care Preservice Training
  • LinkedIn Learning Paths

Meet alumnus Tanner Salinas and learn about how UI REACH helped him hit it out of the park.

Meet Jack Devlin and hear about his work with the Hawkeye basketball team.