Created by college students for college students, SO College connects higher education students and individuals with intellectual disabilities in their school or surrounding community. Through sports and leadership opportunities, students build friendships, develop leadership skills and help lead Special Olympics’ movement for acceptance and respect. SO College activates young leaders in three areas that mirror Unified Champion Schools core components: inclusive sports, youth leadership and advocacy, and whole school engagement. All three of these components are vital to enhancing the SO College experience for all students. Below you will find a detailed explanation of how each component can be executed at the college level.

Inclusive Sports: Students can create inclusive sports teams that unite students and Special Olympics Athletes to participate together in scrimmage-type sporting events. Through three different Unified Sports models, there is a meaningful role for all individuals to play side by side. Students can also participate in local or state-level Special Olympics Games by coaching, competing on a Unified Sports team, helping to promote the event, or all of the above.

Youth Leadership & Advocacy: Functioning as a student-led Fans Club, SO College can meet regularly to plan events and generate ideas for promoting the mission of Special Olympics and SO College. This type of club works best when students invite Special Olympics Athletes to become members. Students can also build their leadership skills by becoming a part of the Games Organizing Committee for their local or state Special Olympics and assisting in the planning and execution of events.

Campus Involvement: Students can bring campus communities together through awareness campaigns such as the pledge-signing drive Spread the Word to End the Word®, recruiting students to join a Polar Plunge team, rallying students to come be Fans in the Stands, hosting a Run with the Cops in partnership with LETR, or other awareness events that can engage the whole student body, faculty, administrators and college staff.

Current Chapters:

  • Marquette University
  • Mount Mary University
  • UW-Madison
  • UW-Whitewater
  • UW-Stevens Point

Next Steps:


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