History of Panther LIFE
Florida International University (FIU) in continued partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) and Parent to Parent of Miami (P to P), Inc. proposes to continue to expand and implement a postsecondary transition program for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) entitled Project Panther LIFE: Panther Learning Is For Everyone. Project Panther LIFE will prepare ten (10) students with ID, over a four year period, to complete a well-planned, structured, and individualized (based on interests) curriculum and a system of supports through partnerships that will result in a certificate. The need to provide this type of postsecondary transition program is twofold. The first is to ensure that high school students with disabilities have access to and can transition and participate in postsecondary education and related experiences, and secondly, achieve meaningful and employment following program completion.
Project Panther LIFE is guided by the regulations of the Higher Education Opportunities Act (2008) of a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program to support students with ID in the areas of academics and instruction, social activities, employment, and independent living, and through an ongoing Person-Centered Planning (PCP) process of exploration and discovery of interests and strengths. The PCP process, in collaboration with the student's family and other professionals and support personnel (e.g., M-DCPS project coordinator, M-DCPS transition specialist, faculty advisor, academic mentor), will be used to develop a vision statement to assist the student with ID to plan his/her role in the program and begin to plan for life after program completion. This process will allow for the formation of a circle of support for the student (Turnbull, Turnbull, Erwin, Soodak, & Shogren, 2011) by valuing and respecting the student's preferences for his/her future planning.
Panther LIFE Summer Residential Program
Panther Life Students Highlight - Ignite Campaign
Promo Video 2013
Panther LIFE students reach beyond their grasp
Promo Video 2012