Welcome to the UI REACH website,

The University of Iowa REACH Program is a two-year, transition certificate program for students with multiple intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. UI REACH provides a campus experience to empower young adults to become independent, engaged members of the community. Courses, campus life, and career preparation assist students in reaching their full potential. UI REACH strives to maintain periodic contact with alumni to encourage them to become independent adults by utilizing the independent living and career-related skills they learned in the program.

We welcome your interest in the UI REACH program and encourage you to explore this website to learn more about our program, students, and faculty.  If you would like additional information please feel free to contact our office at 319-384-2127.

Pam Ries, Ed.D.
Director, UI REACH

REACH Student at Old Capitol

Key Features of UI REACH

  • Big Ten University experience
  • Integrated, on-campus residence hall living
  • Inclusive academic learning opportunities
  • Generous scholarship support
  • Quality College of Education instructors and advisors
  • Specialized core curriculum and service learning
  • Employment preparation and training
  • Community-based internships
  • Transition portfolio


To create an authentic, inclusive living-learning experience that builds career skills, academic achievement, personal responsibility, interpersonal competence, and a promising future for young adults with intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. UI REACH contributes to the strategic mission of The University of Iowa and the College of Education through training future generations of educators and professionals and the creation and dissemination of innovative, evidence-based best practices. UI REACH aspires to be nationally recognized as a leader in educating young adults with intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities.


The UI REACH philosophy and educational approach focuses on fostering independence while helping students learn to make positive life choices. Self-determination for each student can be achieved with the development of problem solving skills, independent and interdependent learning, self-awareness, self-advocacy, and leadership opportunities.

Strategic Goals

Our curriculum and faculty promote the development of self-determination as the cornerstone of self-sufficiency in our students. This focus enables the UI REACH student to become a responsible and participating citizen in contemporary society. Students are encouraged to develop independence and actively seek what is required for their personal fulfillment. University of Iowa faculty and staff emphasize positive expectations and equip students with an education and aspirations that promote continued career progress, social involvement and lifelong learning.

Program Goals

  • To achieve improved readiness for entry into meaningful and sustained employment.
  • To attain expanded academic competencies, age-appropriate social experiences, and life skills which promote self-determination and self-advocacy.
  • To provide a person-centered quality education and related supports. 

Students on lawn at Pentacrest in Iowa gear