Meet Riley, a member of the first cohort of Aggies Elevated students at Utah State University.
Like many of the Aggies Elevated students, Riley is enjoying college.
“It’s a really good experience to get away from home and make new friends,” he said. He enjoys hanging out with his roommates and has joined the recycling club and the medieval club.
Riley isn’t as homesick as he thought he’d be, he said, but he does miss his dog.
While being at college is a good experience, the amount of homework surprised him.
“I’ve never done this much homework in my whole entire life, ever,” Riley said. “I’ve come to find out that you don’t get over homework here. There’s no break. It’s never-ending. Once you find out that reality, it’s better.
“Now I wish I’d had to do more homework in high school,” he continued. “College teachers expect a lot more out of you. You’re not a kid, you’re an adult. They know you can do it and expect it to be done.”
Riley knows why there’s so much homework though, and has some advice for others who are struggling with the workload.
“There’s a point to all that homework, and it’s not just to keep me busy,” he said with a grin. “They want you to learn and to be able to gain as much knowledge as you want yourself to learn and that you can learn. Don’t limit yourself. Leave yourself open to learning new things.”
Aggies Elevated at Utah State University believes that all individuals, regardless of ability, have the right to meaningful employment, lifelong learning, self-determination and full community inclusion. Utilizing the MyCLIMB (My Career Ladder to Independence, Maturity & Balance) person-centered planning model, Aggies Elevated students, along with invited family members and/or other stakeholders, will chart their own paths toward independence within an individualized framework of supports that identifies challenges, builds on individual strengths and encourages personal responsibility.