Graphic Image for EAGLES Program Students in the EAGLES program buying their first college books.

"War Eagle!" is a greeting shared across the Auburn campus and throughout the Auburn Family. The iconic eagle represents the Auburn spirit and the strength that is within all of us. It is therefore fitting that Auburn University’s new comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities be known as EAGLES!


As the first land-grant college in the South, Auburn University is steeped in both tradition and innovation. The establishment of the Auburn University EAGLES program (Education to Accomplish Growth in Life Experiences for Success) can be considered a modern interpretation of what Senator Justin Smith Morrill envisioned for land grant institutions in the 1880s. More specifically, the EAGLES program provides students, both with and without intellectual disabilities, a “practical education” that has a “direct relevance to their daily lives.”

Auburn University is committed to ALL Alabamians through its land-grant traditions of service and access. Through the EAGLES program, students with intellectual disabilities gain access and are provided services through an inclusive post-secondary education. Learn more about Auburn University.


EAGLES is a comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities. The program provides a postsecondary education opportunity for students with intellectual disabilities to engage in a two-year (four semester) residential campus experience. It is a non-degree program focusing on (1) academic enrichment, (2) personal and social skills, (3) independence, and (4) integrated work experiences. Students in the program receive an inclusive post-secondary education providing them with an enriching and rewarding Auburn experience as they prepare for life now and in the future.

The EAGLES program curriculum includes Auburn University credit-bearing courses, as well as program courses focused on improving students’ independent living and employment outcomes. Students in the program take a minimum of eight credit-bearing hours each semester, as well as inclusive program courses. During the first year of their program, students engage in program coursework, work seminars, and work-based training practica in integrated settings. During their second year, students will have an integrated employment residency during the last semester of their program. Successful program completion results in College to Career Recognition.

Program Goal

The goal of the EAGLES program is to prepare students with intellectual disabilities to achieve and maximize their potential as they transition to become contributing members of society.

EAGLES Enrollment

The program began in the fall semester of 2018. The next open enrollment period will be for the 2020-2021 academic year. Applications will be accepted throughout the year, with interviews to be conducted in the fall of 2019.

Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 & Comprehensive Transition Programs

The HEOA of 2008 includes provisions that make programs such as EAGLES possible at institutions of higher education. This legislation has made access to postsecondary education possible for students with intellectual disabilities The EAGLES program for students with intellectual disabilities is recognized as a comprehensive transition program (CTP) by the U.S. Department of Education. The HEOA of 2008 identifies parameters for establishing CTPs at institutions of higher education.

The EAGLES program became a CTP through an extensive application process. It is the first post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities in Alabama to receive this designation, and joins a select group of other postsecondary institutions with CTPs in the country.

Universities with recognized CTPs can offer three types of federal student aid to eligible students with intellectual disabilities: (1) Federal Pell grants, (2) Federal work-study, and (3) Federal supplemental education opportunity grants. The CTP status also recognizes that EAGLES has met an advising and curriculum structure and that at least 50% of the program time is with other students without intellectual disabilities. However, Auburn exceeds the latter requirement with approximately 95% of the EAGLES program time spent with students without intellectual disabilities, with the possibility of 100% inclusion. EAGLES is a comprehensive transition program within the College of Education and the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling. Auburn is diverse. Auburn is inclusive.

Are you ready to join the Auburn Family?

It is great to be an Auburn Tiger! Auburn University's core traditions are passion and spirit. These are the hallmarks of the Auburn Family, and you would be hard-pressed to find a program more steeped in tradition.

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