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Heartland Community College

HALO program to expand offerings

January 17, 2023

Heartland Community College will be expanding opportunities in a program for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and learning challenges. 

Funding administered from an Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Innovative Bridge and Transition grant will expand programming in the Heartland Academy for Learning Opportunities (HALO) program. 

The HALO program offers a higher education experience for students 18-28 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and other learning challenges. The program connects students with academic, social/recreational, and soft skills necessary for a successful transition to adulthood. 

“With this funding, we will create and implement additional curriculum to support students participating in our HALO program,” said Kori Folkerts, Heartland Associate Director of Student Access & Accommodation Services. “Our goal is to double the number of students who participate in the program, and add a third year and a second-level credential.” 

Through opportunity, support, and access, HALO students develop increased confidence to function independently on campus and in the community. Students gain confidence in many skill areas, including cooking, managing money, reading for life, computer technology, social development, community awareness, health and wellness, independent living, and math for life. 

Supported by the $212,728 grant, four additional courses will be added to the HALO program: Transition to College/Basic Skills, Success Education, Professionalism/Career Preparation, and Social-Emotional Development. The project supports students in the HALO population to have skills when transitioning into the workforce or into credit courses at the college level.  

The grant will also allow Heartland to add experiential learning opportunities and peer mentors for the students, as well as training for HCC staff.  

For more information about HALO and the program’s application process, please visit  

Written by: Steve Fast