College for Life

The path to greater inclusion, independence and contribution within your community!

College for life students raise their hand to answer the professor's question
College for Life logo

Three easy steps to enroll for the College for Life program

  1. Submit the online application.
  2. Contact your high school to request a copy of your transcript sent to JWCC Admissions.
  3. Locate your most recent IEP.

After completion of these steps, the CFL Coordinator will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Questions? Contact the CFL Coordinator Julie Quinn at 217.641.4340 or by email.

JWCC enriches lives through learning by providing accessible educational opportunities and services at an exceptional value. College for Life (CFL) extends that mission to students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, allowing JWCC to better reach the community as a whole.


College for Life is for students 18 years of age and older who:

  • Have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD), or similar learning challenge.
  • Want to continue their education beyond high school.
  • Want to take non-credit courses.
  • Want to be part of campus life.

Students who are ages 18-21 and still receiving special education services are encouraged to consider College for Life. CFL can be a part of an effective IEP Transition Plan. Dual-enrolled students can continue receiving special education services from their school district while attending CFL. The CFL Coordinator is available to talk to parents and educators interested in this option.


Students are responsible for:

  • Transportation to and from campus.
  • Lunch. (Like any other student – bring your own, buy on campus, go out with a friend.)
  • Getting around campus. (No supervision will be provided outside of the classroom.)
  • Self-care needs.
  • Following the College Code of Conduct. (Do not be a danger to yourself or others. Do not interfere with learning.)
  • Payment of tuition.

Nick Burgess

“We never dreamt that a program like this would ever be available for Nick. Nick has a completely different attitude going to JWCC than he did in high school. He has a great attitude at home and talks non-stop after being picked up both days. We are amazed and so grateful! Nick is so very fond of all of his instructors. We have never experienced the excitement that Nick has when he comes home. The last 2 weeks have been such a pleasant surprise.”
Jill Burgess, Nick’s mother


Two CFL students drawing their names, Jenna and Summer, in art class

College for Life courses are non-credit and include a variety of topics to prepare students for a fulfilling adult life in their communities.

Classes meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 2:50 PM each 16-week semester (August – December;  January – May). CFL follows the JWCC academic calendar. Students are required to take Self-Advocacy and at least 2 other courses of their choice each semester. (Special considerations regarding this requirement can be arranged).

A Learning Coach or volunteers may be available in classes to assist students. Instructors will consider diverse learners when choosing information and activities for the courses.

Fall 2024 Courses

Course TitleDayTimeTuition
Get Fit with YogaT/Th9-9:25 AM$125
Dollars & (Financial) SenseT/Th9-9:25 AM$125
Clothing CreationsT/Th9:30-10:20 AM$250
Beverage BizT/Th9:30-10:20 AM$250
Self-AdvocacyT/Th10:30-10:55 AM$125
Global CelebrationsT/Th11-11:50 AM$250
Eating for LifeT/Th11-11:50 AM$250
Art Around the WorldT/Th1-1:50 PM$250
Mind/Body/SpiritT/Th1-1:50 PM$250
Performance ArtsT/Th2-2:50 PM$250
Fall GardeningT/Th2-2:50 PM$250

Cost & Scholarships

Average course costs are $125 – 250. Some courses may also have supply fees which are typically $25 – $50 per course.

Need-based scholarships are available through the JWCC Foundation:

Jeff Burgess CFL Scholarship – The family and friends of Jeff Burgess established an endowed fund in his memory to provide an annual Jeff Burgess Scholarship to a student in the College for Life Program, as well as direct support to the CFL Program. Jeff had a talent for giving practical and wise advice, and he fit the description of life coach very well. This scholarship is awarded to a student participating in the CFL Program.

CFL Tuition Support Scholarship – The CFL Tuition Support Scholarship is funded through the generosity of many private and public donations. Family members, friends and organizations connected to our students continue to provide for their ongoing educational experience.


College for Life tuition cannot be covered by federal or state financial aid (e.g. PELL, MAP, college work-study). However, ABLE account funds may be used for education expenses.  Families and students are encouraged to reach out to civic and faith-based organizations to inquire about new scholarship possibilities.

College for Life student proudly smiles at his artwork

Interested in supporting the College for Life program and our students? You can donate through the JWCC Foundation! When giving online, please select “other programs/projects” and indicate you are giving to College for Life.


For more information on establishing a scholarship, please contact the JWCC Foundation.

CFL cooking class
College for Life students join JWCC chorus for a Christmas song
College for Life students posing with pickleball coach
College for Life student receives football directions