University of Iowa UI REACH

Basic Information

Address: 240 S. Madison St. S229 Lindquist Center Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone Number: 319.384.2127
President: Bill Loyd, Jr.

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University of Iowa UI REACH
University of Iowa UI REACH
University of Iowa UI REACH
University of Iowa UI REACH

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Additional Information

School Type: Post-Secondary Support Program
Organization Affiliation: The UI REACH Program is a department within the College of Education at the University of Iowa. UI REACH creates a living-learning Big 10 campus experience where young adults ages 18-25 with multiple learning and cognitive disabilities are empowered to become independent, engaged members of their community.
Degrees Offered:

Coursework, campus life, and career preparation assist students in reaching their full potential through a comprehensive certificate program with two, three and four-year options. UI REACH has its own curriculum and students also take some University of Iowa classes as well.

School Setting:

UI REACH is part of the the University of Iowa and it was the first program of its kind on a Big 10 university campus. The program is fully inclusive and fully residential as students are incorporated fully into the campus. Students live on campus with a UI REACH roommate but rooms are located within the traditional residence halls and integrated with other university students. Classes are located in various university buildings typically within three blocks or the residence halls or the Lindquist Center. UI REACH Program is based in the Lindquist Center which is part of the downtown area and across the street from both the Main Library and the College Recreation and Wellness Center.

School Size: UI REACH has approximately 60 to 70 students at one time in the program. The University of Iowa has approximately 33,000 students.
Classroom Size: UI REACH classes vary from 6 - 30 students in a given class. If UI REACH student is taking a traditional class then the size can vary greatly.
Student/Teacher Ratio: 3:1
School Holidays: The program closes for the summer starting at beginning of May after a Convocation until third week of August, Labor Day, a "fall break" during the week of Thanksgiving, between late December to mid January for "winter break", and in March for a week of "spring break".

Iowa City is a quintessential college town with the University of Iowa fully integrated throughout the city and public transportation is abundant with access to all areas of Iowa City and the neighboring city of Coralville, IA. Students are amidst many peers their age, they have access to a great deal of restaurants, malls, museums, clubs, and other social outlets (including our own UI REACH organized social events and University of Iowa events). UI REACH is located one hour west of the Mississippi River and the Iowa/Illinois border.

Housing Availability:

All UI REACH students live on the campus of the University of Iowa.

Housing Type: The housing is University of Iowa residence halls. Large residence halls with dining halls either incorporated into the building or very nearby. Students live in double occupancy rooms.
Diversity: The University of Iowa is a very large Big 10 university with over 33,000 students. The campus is extremely diverse with students coming from all over the USA and the world. There is a very large international student community. The UI REACH program is also diverse with students from all different backgrounds and from different parts of the country. The UI REACH program is fully integrated into the University of Iowa with UI REACH students living in the residence halls, participating in any club or activity on campus, marching in the Homecoming Parade, playing intramural sports, dancing in Dance Marathon, eating in any of the dining halls, playing in the marching band, and/or taking some traditional university classes. All UI REACH students are truly having the "Hawkeye" experience.

Related Costs (updated each year and these are current costs for 2023) UI REACH Program Fee/Tuition Iowa Residents $18,165 Non-Residents $37,170 University Student Fees $1,618 Room and 20-meals/week plan $11,743 Estimated Total Iowa Residents $31,526 Non-Residents $50,531. Subject to changes, therefore, see website for the most up-to-date information.

Financial Aid:

Individual and corporate donations have been earmarked as scholarship funds for UI REACH students. Limited need-based scholarships are available for qualifying UI REACH students. To apply for a needs-based UI REACH Scholarship, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will need to be completed and submitted to The University of Iowa prior to March 1 to be considered for the following academic year. Please note that UI REACH requires an earlier deadline than FAFSA. Please refer to the UI REACH Specific FAFSA Instructions when completing the FAFSA. The FAFSA is available beginning on October 1st each year. Completing the FAFSA online at is easy, secure, and fast. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 319-384-2127or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID FREE. Scholarship award decisions are made in late spring by the Scholarship Committee. Families will receive a decision letter by mail. This scholarship award is contingent on the student's successful completion of each semester. In the event that a UI REACH scholarship recipient is unable to complete a semester, he or she will need to repay the scholarship amount.

Disability Services:
  • UI REACH provides a balanced curriculum that it developed that focuses on Academics, Career and Transition, and Student Life.
  • UI REACH offers individualized one-on-one tutoring and academic support to develop executive functioning skills, study skills, understanding content, and ensuring the use of resources.
  • The Career and Transition services and curriculum enables all students to learn how to search for jobs, explore interests, and to develop skills and confidence in the application and interview process, as well as maintaining the position.
  • Career staff are all CESP Certified in job development and job coaching, and find meaningful and individualized paid or educational internships in a large variety of fields.
  • UI REACH offers a comprehensive independent living skills curriculum designed to enable students to be successfully self-reliant in all areas of life, advocate for themselves, utilize the resources at the university and in the community, as well as teaching students how to receive, use, and implement accommodations.
  • All students take financial management classes and activities to gain the tools necessary to become fiscally responsible.
  • UI REACH teaching staff all act as advisors offering students regularly scheduled weekly advising sessions and other support as necessary.
  • UI REACH also has a licensed social worker on staff for social and emotional support and advising.
  • The University of Iowa has an entensive and active Student Disability Services department that is there for all university students and UI REACH works closely with that department to ensure our students are poised for success in traditional classes as necessary.
  • UI REACH students choose from an array of activities that are sponsored by UI REACH staff and mentors on a regular schedule and also any University of Iowa programming.
  • First year students are paired up with volunteer mentors to attend activities and improve engage in campus activities.
  • All UI REACH students are required to attend activities that are either UI REACH sponsored or University of Iowa events.
  • Seminars, workshops and group programming are offered that include crafts, cooking, sports, movies, community exploration, arts, healthy relationships, and fitness challenges.
  • Weekly social events are scheduled in the residence halls, other buildings on campus, and recreation centers.
  • Each semester group field trips are scheduled that may include downtown events, bowling, and activity centers.
  • Students can are encouraged to engage at one of the many fitness and recreation centers on campus including the award-winning College Recreation and Wellness Center across from the Lindquist Center.

All UI REACH students are strongly encouraged to join a club or organization on campus their first year and are required to join or start a university club or organization their second year. Advisors and mentors help students get started with finding clubs or organizations of interest. UI REACH mentors will attend clubs and activities with the student at the start to promote success and comfort.. UI REACH will also help students start their own club if one is not already available on campus. This enables implementstion of new groups that students may be interested in such as a UI REACH Flag Football Team, an Art Club, or a Guitar Group. There are endless possibilities for engagement.


There are a myriad of sports and fitness challenges offered on the University of Iowa Big 10 campus. Not only are there world-class college level sporting events to attend as a fan, Hawkeye Football, Basketball, and Wrestling being some of the favorites, there are many opportunities for students to engage in actually playing sports. There is an enormous intramural sports program on campus which the UI REACH students can join. There are many different fitness and recreation centers on campus that our students are members of as part of their tuition. In the UI REACH curriculum our students also take fitness classes in their first year to help promote healthy living and a routine of fitness. Students will buddy up and work out with others and there are personal trainers available to hire at the College Recreation and Wellness Center. Weekly fitness opportunities are also available in the UI REACH sponsored activity calendar of events.

School Championships:

The University of Iowa is part of the Big Ten Conference for college sports. The University of Iowa has achieved a myriad of accolades and championship wins throughout its history. It has won 25 NCAA national team Division I Championships. The UI REACH students are all encouraged to become active Hawkeyes. As it has been said, "Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye!"

Parking Spaces/Availability:

UI REACH students are allowed to have motorized vehicles while attending the program and living on campus. There is parking available in lots for students and parking available for parents and families throughout the campus and Iowa City. Public transportation is available for students to get to internships and social activities as needed. Many internships and events are within walking distance.


UI REACH Is a certificate program with two, three and four-year options. While students do not receive a degree, the students can choose a specific field of interest for their certificate which is based on internship hours and course work hours.

Study Abroad:

Not applicable, except there are some opportunities to travel during breaks with other departmental programs and some more choices are being investigated

Computer Capabilities:

All students are required to have a cellular phone and a Google Chromebook or laptop of some type when coming to campus. There are a large amount of computer and printer labs available to all students throughout university buildings as well. The Chromebook is necessary to do work within the classroom setting and allows students to easily work in the Google Classroom and Google Drive environments.

Admissions Requirements:

UI REACH Program Admission Requirements:

  • Successful completion of high school and readiness for a collegiate experience
  • Student should be between 18-25 years of age
  • Diagnosis of a mild intellectual or developmental disability
  • Motivation to make continued personal growth in areas of academics, career development, social interaction, and/or independent living

Admissions Process:

  • Contact UI REACH to set up a tour of campus and the program
  • Application and application fee submission (online application available through our website)
  • Application includes but not limited to:
    •     Most recent copy of IEP or 504 plan
    •     Most recent psychological/neuropsychological evaluation (should be within 1 year of application)
    •     If applicable, therapy reports.
    •     Reports from previous schools and programs.
    •     Three references (at least one from an educator)
    •     Transcripts from high school and any college attended
  • All accepted/admitted students begin the program during the Fall semester.  Families are encouraged to begin the admission process as early as possible. To be considered for Fall enrollment, the student and family are highly encouraged to submit all application materials by December 31st of the previous year.

When all application materials are received, the applicant’s file is reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee. If the student is a possible candidate, the family will be invited to campus for an interview. The interview allows the student to express his or her interests and to ask questions. Parents/guardians discuss relevant applicant information and gain a better understanding of the UI REACH Program.
Decisions about admission to the program follow a review of all information by members of the Admissions Committee. An evaluation of an applicant’s strengths, areas needing further development, motivation, and fit to what the program can offer, rather than a diagnosis or test scores, determines if an applicant will be admitted. Once admission decisions have been made, families will be notified by letter. Due to the limited space in the program, some eligible students may not be admitted.

Application/Transfer Deadlines:

Rolling deadline - for Fall admission it is best to have materials in by December 31st.

International Students:

Please contact UI REACH for more information.

Mission Statement:

The UI REACH mission is to provide an integrated Big Ten University experience which equips young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence through campus involvement, career development, coursework, and residence hall living. We strive to develop and implement best practices in post-secondary education within our field through collaborative research. Core aspects of REACH include:

  • Academics and Lifelong Learning: Demonstrate lifelong learning skills, including practical academic skills
  • Career and Vocation: Demonstrate understanding of individual career exploration and workplace readiness
  • Community and Leisure: Demonstrate preparedness for community life and leisure activities
  • Independent and Daily Life: Demonstrate competence in independent and daily life skills
  • Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination: Demonstrate the use of self-advocacy and self-determination skills
  • Social and Interpersonal: Engage appropriately in social and interpersonal interactions
Philosophy/Belief Statement:

The UI REACH vision is to empower young adults to become independent, self-determined individuals whose lives are personally rewarding.

Summer Sessions:

There may be some online programming during the summer but there is not currently summer sessions at UI REACH. There is a new program entitled Project Explore which is just starting in 2023 and you can call the UI REACH office for details at 319-384-2127.

Social Media:

Find us on Social Media:

Facebook: uireach

Twitter: @UIREACHProgram

Instagram: @uireach

Additional Information:


  • UI REACH is a post-secondary EDUCATIONAL experience
  • UI REACH program provides access to University of Iowa courses
  • UI REACH program also provides supplemental instruction in key academic and functional skill areas
  • We use high leverage/evidence-based practices to significantly increase reading and writing skills
  • We use explicit instruction to teach social skills instruction and a healthy relationships class
  • Advisors and UI REACH staff intentionally create space and opportunities for students to practice self-advocacy and decision making
  • We use universal design in how we deliver content
  • We are integrating Accessible Technology (AT) into our classes to ensure every student is able to learn as they are best able