DEPAUL offers COLLEGE specifically for chronically ill

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by victoria, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    This has been mentioned before, but thought I'd post about it since I haven't seen it talked about in quite a while.

    While higher education schools nowadays do have help for those with chronic illnesses - DePaul U., based in Chicago, offers a college degree entirely online &/or at their campuses in the Chicago/area, geared SPECIFICALLY to meet the needs of those with chronic illnesses.

    Their site also has links to grants/scholarships based on need:

    from their website:
    The Chronic Illness Initiative (CII) provides access to higher education for students who have chronic illness. Students who struggle with illnesses that unpredictably increase and decrease in severity such as asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, or illnesses with frequent hospitalizations such as cancer or heart disease, may have found it difficult, if not impossible, to meet the requirements of a conventional college program.

    At the School for New Learning (SNL), staff and faculty work every day with students who have complex lives. They are compassionate and committed to helping CII students achieve their educational goals.

    The CII offers services to students with chronic illness so they may complete SNL requirements and earn a DePaul University degree. A chronic illness is one that typically involves waxing and waning symptoms that interfere with the student’s ability to physically engage successfully in a college program.

    Students with illnesses that can better be served by the PLuS program (for students with learning disabilities), or the Office of Students with Disabilities will be referred to those programs. Whether or not a student is appropriate for the CII program is based on a determination by CII program officials that the individual facts and circumstances fit the supports offered by the program. Contact Us

    - Buddy Program: New students are connected with a current SNL student who can answer questions, serve as a mentor and provide support.

    - CII Student Handbook: This handbook describes the CII program in more detail and outlines program policies. (Microsoft Word required).

    Other Program Features

    - No Minimum Requirements: Students may take as many or as few courses as they can handle. There is no limit on the length of time to complete a degree. A student may also be inactive for a quarter or more if necessary. Note: Financial aid does have course load and time length requirements.

    - Informed Faculty and Staff: Faculty and staff receive regular information about the CII and its policies.

    - Access to all University services, including Financial Aid, Career Counseling and the Office of Students with Disabilities.

    - Distance Education: CII students have the option to earn an undergraduate degree without ever visiting campus.

    - Symposium: An annual Symposium on Chronic Illness and Postsecondary Education. Download Information (Word required)

    - Inside Track: This program is designed for students with chronic illness, ages 18-23, who are interested in earning a degree or who would like to explore the college experience within the supportive environment of the Chronic Illness Initiative. It allows students to participate fully in all aspects of the DePaul experience and share access to the same services. In addition, these students receive assistance to help their transition into a college environment, develop self-determination and self-advocacy skills, and acquire the abilities necessary to complete the degree program.

    Inside Track includes Learning Assessment Seminar, LL 150 Academic Writing for Adults, LL 155 Critical Thinking, FA 363 Advocacy and Self Determination, and LL 250 Foundations of Adult Learning. All these courses apply to the degree.

    To apply for the SNL program, please download and complete (an) application

    To join the CII, you must first be an SNL student or currently applying to SNL. There are three steps to sign up:

    1. Send an email to with the following information:
    - Your name
    - Preferred Email
    - Address(es)
    - Phone number(s)
    - Student ID number
    - Source via which you heard about the CII
    - Nature of your illness(es)
    - Any particular accommodations you believe you will need.
    - A statement to the effect that you have read the term interruption policies of the CII in the CII Handbook and understand them.
    2. Request that your medical professional send a letter to the CII confirming your illness and describing the symptoms for which you may need accommodations. The letter should be mailed to The Chronic Illness Initiative, School for New Learning, DePaul University, Suite 200, 25 E. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604.

    3. Complete and sign the HIPAA release form, and fax or email it to the CII advisor.

    Please email with any questions or comments you may have.

    Apply for the Chronic Illness Scholarship (one-time award of $500 - $1,500 for tuition-only assistance):
    If you have a disabling chronic illness,
    If you are enrolled (or are in the process of enrolling) in the School for New Learning
    If you have a sincere desire to continue your education
    If you have the capacity to do well in college
    If you demonstrate courage and character in your response to the challenge of ongoing disability.
    If you demonstrate financial need.

    If granted an award, you must:
    Successfully complete Learning Assessment Seminar
    Be admitted to baccalaureate degree-seeking status.

    See also other Chronic Illness Scholarships


    Hope this offers help and hope to the many who have had their lives interrupted...

    all the best,
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'll bet there are many here who could benefit from this info.

    Heard y'all got some rain. It rained a lot here today and we sure needed it. I ran around yesterday so it feels good to stay inside and watch it rain. I'm watching TV in my jammies. I had yesterday and today off. Tomorrow, I only work four hours. I'm off Thurs. and on Fri., I only work five and a half hours. This is the last Fri. I'll have to work. From now on, I'll be off on Fridays. That will be nice; I can make doc appts. on Fridays.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Love, Mikie
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    the last 4 days of the year's rain "saved" us from having the least amount of rain on record since 1880s... saw on weather news that, overall, Atlanta received about 31" rain compared to Houston's 50"+ this year, usually it's reversed! Hopefully it's on a permanent reversal track now...

    Just read your post about work on other forum... SO glad it's working out for you! The feeling of being able to help others is definitely high on the list of things that make life worthwhile!

    all the best,
  4. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    for those with CFS. The initiative was started in large part by Dr. Leonard Jason (a prof. at DePaul who had CFS) and Dr. Lynn Royster (whose son has CFS). So there's a lot of support there for people with CFS.
  5. shaz73

    shaz73 New Member

    Wish we had something like this in britain, but as far as I know we don't.

  6. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    This is great. Thanks for sharing.
    MIT also has free courses. There's no degree but you can watch lectures and learn:

  7. connieaag

    connieaag New Member

    I am commenting on this so I can find it later under my username!

    Seriously, we have completed several of their questionaires regarding my daughter's health. They are very intune to CFS/FM and are doing tons of research on teenagers/children as well. They have a panel of the above metioned docs who meet once a month and invited us to join their discussion group whenever we were available as they love real "case studies" to analyse. I need to email them again to set that up!

    Thanks! Connie
  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    have you had your daughter screened for Lyme? I know there's more and more reports in Illinois especially.

    We're in Georgia, where it's supposed to be rare. My son couldn't continue with HS either, ultimately had to drop out as he kept dropping so many classes it was fruitless, altho he did get his GED on his own time.

    Anyway, he came up totally positive for Lyme... it shouldn't be overlooked. Unfortunately he'd had it a long time, so it's taking a long time to effect a remission. Nobody knew what was wrong with him, didn't even think to test for it either, 'til I took him to a LLMD.

    all the best,
  9. connieaag

    connieaag New Member

    Yes, we did the Igenex testing last year. She also has been on Abx for three years per the, so HOPEFULLY we've covered those bases. She was negative with a few IND bans, so her doctor treated for lyme. I truly believe she has FM and CFS.

    A big part of this has been coming to that reality point in my life and going forward instad of dwelling on the what-ifs.

    I agree that conquering high school is so tough for these kids regardless of the dx. This sure wasn't in the parentng books I read though :)

    Thanks, Connie
  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Nope this sure is NOT in the parenting books, is it!?! I hope her protocol is working and continues to work... even if it seems like 2 steps forward, one step back... the one thing they have going for them is youth at least!

    all the best,

  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    many schools now have special programs for chronically ill students, allowing them greater time for completion of courses, test taking flexibility, etc...

    Just thought I'd bump this up in case any new people don't know about these programs.

    all the best,

  12. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    great post! after having to drop out of university many years ago due to CFS, i was thinking of studying again one day when i have sufficiently improved.

    i hope more schools do something like this!

  13. lrning2cope

    lrning2cope New Member

    This is a wonderful post ,and I really appreciate the in-depth information . It is really refreshing to see a program like this offered to those with a chronic illness who want to be able to go to school. How great it would be if other colleges followed their example.