The RISE program is a collaborative effort among the school districts of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Monroe, Region 9, Stratford, Trumbull, Westport, Wilton and Cooperative Educational Services (CES) with Sacred Heart University (SHU). By participating in a program on a university campus, students will have an opportunity to interact with age appropriate peers while addressing individual transition goals. Students’ vocational, social and personal management skills will be enhanced through a variety of transitional activities on both the university campus and in the community.

Program components:

  • Self-Advocacy
  • Self-Determination
  • Social Skill development
  • Personal management skills
  • Development of Mentoring relationships with SHU students
  • Functional education skills
  • Travel skills
  • Transition planning activities
  • Recreation and leisure activities

Consists of 2 Programs:


  • Eating lunch for 30-45 minutes with one of our students during the week in SHU's cafeteria. Our objective is to help improve social skills and to give our students a sense of community on the SHU campus


  • Working out with a student at the Pitt Center for 45 minutes. At least 3-4 times per week
  • Fitness plans will be assigned by Donna Bowers and Patrick Buckley in the physical therapy program.
  • Volunteers will be given a copy of the program and will be actively working out with the RISE student for the 45 minutes.