The UC Davis Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars Program is a first-of-its-kind inclusive college program for students with intellectual disabilities in the state of California.
Students in the program have an opportunity to live on campus, engage in social activities and organizations, take college classes and pursue an internship or job.
The UC Davis Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars Program is a collaborative effort between the UC Davis MIND Institute and the UC Davis campus' Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The MIND Institute is located in Sacramento on the UC Davis Med Center Campus. It is a collaborative international research center, committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, and treatment of the challenges associated with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The MIND Institute is well-known for its research in autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as its innovative supports and therapies that have been developed for families and caregivers.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been building the capacity to do the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the UC Davis campus through a multi-year, multi-pronged process to both assess and understand the opportunities at UC Davis. Housing the Redwood SEED Scholars Program within the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on campus allows for every member of campus to participate and sends the important message that disability access and opportunity is an equity issue at UC Davis.
Dr. Len Abbeduto - Director of the MIND Institute - and Dr. Renetta Tull - Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are both Principal Investigators for the federal TPSID grant. It is their collaboration that is extremely rare and very hopeful. Together, both amazing institutions are leveraging their expertise and resources for the success of the Redwood SEED Scholars Program.
Everything begins with a person-centered plan and self-determination...looking at the student's skill set, strengths, areas of interest and working with a team to support their wishes and dreams for their future.
Each year, we will accept up to 12 students with intellectual disabilities into our NON-DEGREE SEEKING program for a total of 48 students. This is a cohort model program where students take foundational, customized courses as well as audit UC Davis courses in their area of interest. Additionally, beginning in Spring Quarter of their first year, the Redwood SEED Scholars will have internships - both paid and unpaid - on campus and move through what we call Ladders of Opportunity to eventually working for longer hours and more days and at a wider range of internship sites in their fourth year.
One of the key outcomes we are dedicated to is employment that is both integrated and offers a competitive wage at the end of our four years.
But, a person is not just the job they have. We are a program that encourages, supports and guides the whole student in having life experiences socially, increasing independent living skills, advancing in academics and exploring the richness of educational offerings at UC Davis.