St. Louis Arc

Project Name: The VILLAGE Project at University of Missouri - St. Louis

Contact Information:
Sharon Spurlock
(314) 817-2222
1177 N. Warson Road 
Saint Louis, MO 63132

Project Goals

Goals of the VILLAGE project include:

  • Development of orientation/training program for students participating in peer supports;
  • Creating marketing materials to recruit potential peer supports;
  • Enrolling 60-90 students annually to commit to a formal peer support pairing with a student enrolled in the UMSL SUCCEED program
  • Documented increase in satisfaction with relationship between students in the SUCCEED program and in the degree-seeking programs; and
  • Increased partnerships with faculty and administrators throughout the university to connect students across campus with the students in the SUCCEED program.

Project Description

The proposed Peer Supports Project (tentatively named VILLAGE - Valuing Inclusive Living, Learning, and Greater Engagement) will motivate UMSL students to provide ongoing peer supports to their fellow students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are matriculating at UMSL through the SUCCEED program. Funding will provide staffing to develop, initiate, and market a comprehensive Peer Supports program that will recruit and train 60-90 students as peer supports each year and pair them with 32 SUCCEED students to provide support to meet students' individual academic, residential or social needs. This is a one-time development project to initiate the VILLAGE program, secure campus partnerships and buy-in from students, and develop orientation/trainings and recruitment materials that can be replicated and utilized year after year to provide and promote ongoing peer supports and achievement of post-secondary outcomes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.