About Us

What is the TigerLIFE program?

TigerLIFE (Learning Independence, Fostering Employment & Education)

The University of Memphis TigerLIFE Postsecondary Education Program is a 60 hour program culminating in a completion award in Career and Community Studies.  Participation in the Tiger LIFE program provides students with an option for continuing their education beyond high school to increase employment opportunities.

The Inclusive Higher Education(IHE) program provides individualized Programs of Study in the areas of academic, social, vocational and independence for students ages 18-29 with intellectual disabilities. At the heart of TigerLIFE is a person-centered planning model that uses the Systems Approach to Placement.

The TigerLIFE program is administered by the University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID) whose purpose is to assist people with physical and developmental disabilities in finding meaningful Competitive employment, and serves as a community rehabilitation provider (CRP) for the mid-south regional area vocational rehabilitation departments in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. TigerLIFE is a federally recognized Comprehensive Transition Program.

TigerLIFE program Mission Statement:

The mission of the TigerLIFE program is to use a systematic approach to assess each student’s academic, career, technical, independent living, and social skills in order to help the client create the best plan that matches their aspired goals for transition into employment and living a more meaningful life.

TigerLIFE program Vision Statement: 

As a result of participating in the TigerLIFE program, a student with intellectual and developmental disabilities will attain his/her maximum level of independence, will become more employable, and will increase his/her self-efficacy.

TigerLIFE Program Goals:

Built on guidelines drawn from the Think College national initiative, the goals of TigerLIFE are to support students in their quest for independence through:

  • Academic / Intellectual Development
  • Traditional College Experiences
  • Independent Living Skills
  • On-campus Internship and Community-based Externship Opportunities
  • Sustainable Employment

Click to view the TigerLIFE Student Behavioral Guidelines



  • Functional Literacy for Independence 0101, 0102, 0201
  • Independent Living for Community Inclusion 0101, 0102, 0201
  • Workforce Advocacy 0101, 0102, 0201
  • Workforce Learning/Employability 0101, 0102, 0201
  • Social Intervention & Prevention
  • Advocacy for Independence 0202
  • Senior Workforce Training
  • Health Advocacy and Healthy Living Lab (Church Health/Crosstown Concourse)
  • Community Job Exploration (various locations in the community)
  • On-campus Internships and/or community-based Externships (click here to read more about these)
  • Audit Classes (general University classes where the instructor must give permission for any student to audit)

Click to view the TigerLIFE Courses and Descriptions


  TigerLIFE Unit Leaders

  • Behavioral Intervention & Analysis: Dr. Brian Smith
  • Instructional & Curriculum Coordinator: Ms. Bonnie Sanford