Transition Opportunities at the University of Rochester (TOUR)
TOUR is an inclusive college experience at the University of Rochester for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are age 18 to 21. TOUR is made possible by a partnership between Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Monroe #1 BOCES, and the Center on Disability and Education.
While in TOUR, students have the opportunity to participate in:
- College courses at the University of Rochester (non-credit status)
- Vocational training and internships (paid and unpaid)
- Transition and independent living education
- Social activities on and off campus
Students are supported by special education teachers and employment specialists from Monroe #1 BOCES as well as trained and supervised Rochester undergraduate peer mentors. All courses, activities, and work experiences are catered to students’ individual career goals and interests. Preparation for competitive employment after graduation is a goal for all students.
Interested in enrolling yourself or a loved one in TOUR? See the students and families section for more information.
Academic coaches have the opportunity to work one-on-one with TOUR students, supporting them as they tackle a college course and navigate the academic and social landscape of the University of Rochester. Serving as an academic coach is a challenging and rewarding experience that can change the way you think about mentoring, inclusive higher education, and disabilities.
All new TOUR coaches must enroll in CAS 125: Creating an Inclusive Campus Community: Disability, Mentorship, and Inclusive Higher Education (Fridays, 2–3:30 p.m.). Throughout this course students will explore the history, meaning, and lived reality of disability, with an emphasis on defining disability as diversity rather than deficit.
The course is designed especially to support students serving as mentors or coaches to fellow Rochester students who experience intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD) and participate in TOUR.
TOUR students work with special education teachers and peer mentors to develop life and work skills.
Students are paired with a peer mentor who is a current University undergraduate. Students meet weekly with their mentor, and the mentor attends class with them. This one-on-one connection ensures classroom support for the TOUR student, as well as social integration and learning opportunities on the Rochester campus. Meet our current TOUR Academic Coaches.
Students enjoy the activities and experiences that come with college life, with the partnership and support of a mentor.
If you or a loved one want information about applying to TOUR, or having a tour or meeting about the TOUR program, please contact Melissa Wollschleger, Executive Principal, at Monroe #1 BOCES.
A short resource video to explain the benefits of having a TOUR student in your class!
This quick-tips two-pager gives concrete steps to promoting inclusion and accessibility, no matter where you are with your inclusive practice!
More Informational Videos
- Part 1: Self-Advocacy in College
- Part 2: What is Self-Advocacy?
- Part 3: Growth Mindset
- Part 4: Self-Reflection
- Part 5: More Self-Reflection
- Part 6: Rights and Responsibilities
- Part 7: Circles of Support
- Part 8: Thinking About the Future
- Part 9: Goal Setting
UR students who have questions about working with TOUR or CAS 125, please contact Mary Beth Spinelli at email@example.com.