RiverHawks Scholar Program

RHS Group

If you would like to learn more about the RiverHawks Scholar Program we invite you to join us at our in-person open house Friday, Sept 23, 2022 from 9:00-12:00.

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Independent Living

RiverHawk Scholar StudentsStudents will live in on-campus housing integrated with other students.

A trained Resident Assistant for students in the RiverHawks Scholar Program will work with students on their independent living skills.

Students will receive direct instruction as needed, to learn the things that most students learn on their own to help them with independent living skills.

Students will be housed in campus housing. Learn more about campus housing.

Social Skills

RiverHawks Scholar Students at NSU

Social skills are involved in every aspect of the program just as they are part of every aspect of the college experience for any student!

Students will participate in campus activities of their choice along with required membership in an active club/organization of their choice.

Students will also be engaged in a physical fitness routine with a peer mentor. Trained peer mentors will be assigned to each student in the areas of socialization and physical fitness. These mentors help the student to improve social interactions and stay engaged in physical fitness.


RHS Students studying

Students will take two traditional university classes in areas of interest, with appropriate supports, in addition to one specialized session each semester. Traditional university classes can be taken to earn college credit or without earning college credit. Students taking traditional classes without earning credit will be exposed to full course content and have classwork required. However, students will be responsible for the curriculum modified by RiverHawks Scholar Program staff, based on the students' abilities. In addition, trained tutors for the RiverHawks Scholar students will be available for academic assistance.

Students taking courses for college credit are exposed to the full course curriculum and must complete all course requirements at a satisfactory level to earn college credit. While the curriculum cannot be modified, students may receive accommodations such as note-takers, extended time testing or other ADA accommodations.

Disabilities Services is available on campus to provide supports to all students taking courses for college credit; however, students will be responsible for curriculum modified by RiverHawks Scholar Program staff in consultation with Disability Services, based on the student ability.

Specialized sessions are designed to help RiverHawks Scholar Program students reach their full potential. These sessions are not for credit and will include topics focused on successful independence. Sessions may include Introduction to NSU, writing comprehension, personal finance, interpersonal communication, and career path planning.

Career Development

RHS student working on a computerThe RiverHawks Scholar Program is the first of its kind in Oklahoma. The RiverHawks Scholar program plans to apply for the federal designation of a Comprehensive Transition Program or CTP soon, however, until the program gains that designation, federal funding assistance is not available.

Students will be placed in time limited job sampling and paid and unpaid internships, throughout their four years, charting a path to meaningful employment in a career of choice!

The RiverHawks Scholar Program has been developed to provide supports to help students learn what other students learn on their own. Person-Centered Planning (PCP) is the basis for charting each students path.

Students in the RiverHawks Scholar Program are expected to show satisfactory progress in all aspects of the Program.

Gift for RiverHawk Scholar program

Who Should Apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old by September 1st of the prior school year
  • Have been served by special education services (or have been eligible) under the IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Have a mild to mild moderate intellectual and/or developmental disability or a disability that interferes significantly with daily living skills; academic performance, and social development
  • Have no history of disruptive or challenging behaviors (Personnel needed to manage behavioral issues is not part of the RiverHawks Scholar Program)
  • Be able to manage his/her own special diet requirements and/or medical needs (such as medication). The RiverHawks Scholar program staff will not be involved in medication management.
  • Demonstrate the ability to accept responsibility for his/her actions
  • Have the ability to read and complete math at a functional level
  • Demonstrate the desire to attend the RiverHawks Scholar program
  • Agree to participate in all aspects of the RiverHawks Scholar Program

How Do I Apply?

Applications currently being accepted for the 2022 - 2023 School Year

  • Download the Application Packet Information (pdf)
  • Follow instructions in the packet carefully
  • Only complete packets will be reviewed by the Applications Committee
  • The RiverHawks Scholar Program accepts and reviews applications until all spots for the incoming cohort have been filled
  • Students will receive notification by mail for an interview, if selected
  • Students will receive notification by mail if they have been selected for the RiverHawks Scholar Program
  • Students will be notified by mail if they have been selected for an interview. If selected, the applicant must participate in the interview process with and without reinforcement from family/support persons.
  • Applications are due by February 1st. 
  • Students must be able to attend an orientation prior to the Fall semester. Dates TBD.


For more information call 918-444-3711.

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Academic Tuition, Fees and Housing (including meal plan): $23,500.00 USD

Projected costs do not include books or individual housing supplies (towels, sheets, clothes, computers, etc.)

Payments can be made for the RiverHawks Scholar via credit card online, or check or money order that is delivered to the Bursar office 600 N. Grand Ave., Tahlequah, OK. 74464.

The payment for the first half of the school year is due by July 20th. Upon acceptance into the program, payment information will be provided.