Destination Dawgs Summer Leadership InstitutePrerequisite for the five-semester Destination Dawgs program housed within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Institute on Human Development and Disability.

Destination Dawgs is the University of Georgia’s inclusive post-secondary program that began January 2017. This non-degree certificate program for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities aims to help with the transition to adulthood by offering participants an opportunity to prepare for a career and independent living over the course of five spring/fall semesters. Students will audit UGA courses, gain valuable job skills, and build a social network based on individual plans supported by peer mentors.

The summer leadership program, implemented by the Fanning Institute, helped prospective Destination Dawgs learn what it’s like to be a college student. They lived in dorms and experienced three days of typical campus activities, including eating in the dining halls and riding on UGA buses. They were able to chat with and learn from UGA students and participate in sessions with peer mentors.

Peer mentors led participants in activities that emphasized goal setting and leadership development. There was also a scavenger hunt and obstacle course.

The program was implemented after a 2013-15 feasibility study on inclusive post-secondary education at UGA.

The inaugural Destination Dawgs Summer Leadership Institute was held July 15–17, 2016. For more information on the certificate program, contact

Photo credit: Shannah Montgomery/UGA Public Service and Outreach