The Eileen Hoffman Hafer UMatter Program was selected to receive the University of South Florida’s (USF) Student Success Innovation Award for the 2021-22 academic year.
The Student Success Innovation Award, presented annually by USF Student Success and the Student Success Council, honors individuals or teams who have made outstanding contributions to improving student success and learning outcomes by developing and sharing new technologies, techniques, practices or programs that transform the student experience.
The Eileen Hoffman Hafer UMatter Program is an inclusive postsecondary education program created to provide young people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to experience higher education and campus life. Students in the program navigate the transition from high school to college while gaining skills in socialization, career management and independent living.
After launching in 2020, the program continued its forward momentum by welcoming its first cohort of students to USF’s St. Petersburg campus last fall. The program also received a $1.2 million gift from Andrew and Eileen Hafer to fund its operations and year-round initiatives for participating students.
“We genuinely appreciate this important recognition,” said Lyman Dukes, III, PhD, professor of special education and principal investigator for the UMatter Program. “Inclusive post-secondary education supports USF’s mission of diversity, equity and inclusion in order to enhance the learning and personal development of all individuals that make up our university community. We look forward to the opportunity to expand the program to other USF campuses in the near future.”
The Eileen Hoffman Hafer UMatter is an innovative inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) program created to provide young people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to experience higher education and campus life.