Career Development - UI REACH

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

  • Classroom Study – Core career education classes taught by UI REACH instructors
  • Experiential Learning - Job Shadows and Internships – Opportunities to build and practice the necessary skills and confidence to enhance career potential in inclusive work environments 

Year 1: Students focus on career exploration and expected workplace behaviors.

  • Opportunities to work in their chosen fields occur through internships on campus or in the community.
  • The focus for year 1 is on learning and using general skills needed to successfully enter the workplace. Basic communication, problem solving skills, job expectations and performance expectations are emphasized.
  • Activities to build self-confidence, self-esteem and self-advocacy are offered. Year 1 includes exploring job interests through tours, community business member panels, informational interviews, and job shadows.

Year 2: Students identify areas of work interest.

  • Opportunities to work in their chosen fields occur through internships in either volunteer or paid positions on campus or in the community.
  • Students learn how to job search, develop a resume, practice interview skills, network, and learn about work place expectations, policies, and benefits.
  • Students research job opportunities in their home communities.

Optional: Career Focus Area

To earn a career focus area students complete a 60 hour internship and a career seminar in that career focus area.

Career Seminars

Internships

Employment Advisory Council

Post Program Collaboration

Some Employers Partnering with UI REACH

Career Seminars

Each spring semester, students take two career seminars.  Examples of career seminars include:

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

Internships

Students participate in selected job shadowing and internship experiences. Every effort is made to match students’ strengths and interests to an appropriate internship. Internships may be limited by availability of sites. Possible internship areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Adult Care
  • Animal Care
  • Clerical
  • Child Care
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Landscaping/ Outdoor Work
  • Marketing/ Retail

Employment Advisory Council

An active Employment Advisory Council (EAC) comprised of volunteer employers and business people from Iowa meet regularly to offer guidance to the UI REACH Program regarding internships, curriculum, community awareness and marketing.

Post Program Collaboration

After program completion, alumni, their families, and employers have access to consultative services through UI REACH. These services will help alumni identify resources that will help them with career development and independent living.

EXTEND, is the family alumni association. The goal of the group is to keep families connected after their UI REACH experience through positive social networking.

Some Employers Partnering with UI REACH

The University of Iowa

  • Bookstore
  • Dining
  • Facilities Management and General Stores
  • Hawk Shop
  • Landscaping

Community Partnerships

  • City of Coralville Parks and Recreation
  • Handicare Child Care and Preschool
  • Hy-Vee
  • Iowa Cubs
  • Pathways Adult Day Health Center
  • Retail Stores (e.g., Target, Best Buy, & Olive Garden)
  • Sheraton Hotel
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Wellmark