Co-Operative Career Experience Certificate

Prepare for competitive careers through inclusive classes and community work placements

The UIC Co-Operative Career Experience Certificate program (Co-Op program)’s mission is to support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve competitive careers in the community. The U.S Department of Education funded our program’s development with a Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities grant. Our program is also recognized as a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program by the U.S Department of Education.

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Earn college credits

Earn undergraduate college credits for the courses you successfully complete. You will have an academic transcript just like any other UIC student. Co-Op students do not audit or participate in courses as guests.

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Inclusive coursework

Take all of your classes alongside other UIC students. We believe students with intellectual and developmental disabilities add value to the classroom. UIC students with disabilities may request accommodations with the Disability Resource Center. Our team will help you get the accommodations needed to participate in classes and complete assignments.

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Community work placements

Our certificate uses co-operative education methods. This means that our students learn through academic work in the class and through practical work placements in the community, which prepares them to pursue careers after certificate completion.

Learn from the best

  • Tamar Heller headshot

    Tamar Heller

    Co-Op Program Co-Principal Investigator, Department Head

  • Kate Caldwell headshot

    Kate Caldwell

    Co-Op Program Co-Principal Investigator, Clinical Assistant Professor

In the Community

Our team conducts research and shares resources with communities and universities looking to build college programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are currently building our research and resource library. Contact us if you have any questions. You may also visit the Think College Illinois webpage.

Hire Co-Op

Are you an employer in the Chicagoland area who would like to hire our students? We would love to hear from you! Please email Jordyn Jensen.

Tuition and financial aid

Co-Op students pay tuition and fees at the UIC undergraduate tuition rate.

As a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program (CTP) with the U.S Department of Education, our students are eligible for certain forms of federal financial aid like Pell Grants and work-study. All applicants are encouraged to complete a FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid. 

We are currently growing financial aid opportunities and working with Illinois’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to open doors for merit-based scholarships and state financial support. 

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Questions?

Still wondering what the Co-Operative Career Experience Certificate can do for you? Contact us and get your questions answered.

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