The Propel Program is a comprehensive college experience for young adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. Students enrolled in Propel attend UMKC for two years, full-time (12 credit hours/semester; fall and spring semesters) and participate in college courses with students without intellectual disabilities 60% to 70% of the time. The curriculum focuses on the following domains: academic learning; work-based learning and career exploration; social learning; independent living skills; and self-determination. In addition to full-time coursework, students will also have the option of participating in other student activities such as student organizations and service-learning/community engagement. Propel Undergraduate Certificate is housed in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, and has as its collaborative partner UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD). This interdepartmental cooperation is between an academic department and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disability for the state of Missouri, housed at UMKC IHD. Propel is supported through a grant from the Office of Postsecondary Education, US Department of Education to build a model comprehensive transition program for college students with intellectual developmental disabilities.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Students will be able to advocate for their disability needs effectively.
  • Students will be able to apply academic knowledge and social proficiencies in a work-based setting.
  • Students will be able to create networks with peers and others.
  • Students will be able to identify possible careers that would match personality type, strengths, interest, skills, and/or values.
Required Courses24
College Study Skills and Resources
Developing a Person-Centered Life Plan
Communication Skills for Networking, Employment, and Friendship
Personal Finance and Disability Services
Developing a Career
Transition Skills
Accessible, Inclusive Internships
Leadership and Disabilities
Electives24
Psychology Electives
Psychology of Communicating Your Lived Experience
Disability Civil Rights Movements
Disability History and Culture
Possible Electives from the College of Arts and Sciences
Introduction To Photography
Foundation Drawing
Fundamentals Of Effective Speaking And Listening
Economics Explained
Popular Literature
Understanding the Earth: Introduction to Environmental Science and Laboratory
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Global Inequality: Slavery in Historical and Archaeological Perspective
Literature, Composition & Critical Thinking: Individual & Society
The Meaning of the American Experience
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Physics of Sports
How Things Work
How Things Work Laboratory
Sociology: An Introduction
Total Credits48

To complete the program, the Propel student needs to finish required Propel certificate courses with a 2.0 GPA or better. Elective courses may be taken pass/fail.