Our Work

Special Olympics College Programming

SO College Lead

Create A Community of Acceptance and Respect on Your Campus

Special Olympics college programs connect college students and individuals with intellectual disabilities through shared experiences. Together, college students and Special Olympics athletes can work together to build accepting campus communities and build friendships that help lead the social inclusion movement of Special Olympics.

 Special Olympics college programs are made up of the three components of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools®: Special Olympics Unified Sports®, Inclusive Leadership, and Whole Campus Engagement

Find a Special Olympics College Program Near You

If you are an active Special Olympics College Club or college program and do not see your school on the map, or you see out of date information, please fill out this information form.

How To Get Involved on Campus

Special Olympics College Clubs

Special Olympics College Clubs function as an official student organization on campus and are led by students with and without intellectual disabilities. Many clubs also allow Special Olympics athletes from the community to participate as athlete leaders. Members of Special Olympics College Clubs gain experiences participating in Unified Sports and hosting Special Olympics events, thus creating opportunities for meaningful inclusion of people with and without intellectual disabilities in the campus community.

NIRSA: Special Olympics Unified Sports® Intramurals

In partnership with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, hundreds of colleges are providing Unified Intramural Sports leagues on campus. These leagues are inspired by a simple principle: training, playing and competing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding and meaningful inclusion. These leagues welcome student partners and Special Olympics athletes at any level of skill or experience.

NCAA Division III

Through Special Olympics events and competitions, NCAA Division III student-athletes are encouraged to engage and learn from Special Olympics athletes. This promotes citizenship and creates a comprehensive learning experience.

NAIA

Through an official collaboration, Special Olympics supports the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and its Champions of Character® program for over 65,000 NAIA student-athletes. Student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes are able to interact, connect and build friendships through participation in existing Special Olympics events, or by the creation of new initiatives.

American Academy of Development Medicine and Dentistry

Student and Resident Committees at the American Academy of Development Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) function as official clubs on campus to promote a community of students and residents in medical and dental school who are interested in serving individuals with intellectual disabilities. They provide opportunities for education, leadership and growth within the field as well as mentoring opportunities with AADMD  physicians/dentists for guidance. These student/residents also create community projects and advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities within the health field.  Apply today to create a chapter on your campus. Contact AADMD  with any questions.

Alpha Phi Omega

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is the most represented co-educational intercollegiate organization in the United States which operates under the principles of leadership, friendship and service. In collaboration with Special Olympics, APO chapters are encouraged to host advocacy and Unified Sports events to help strengthen the Special Olympics movement on campus. Locate an APO chapter near you.

Sigma Tau Gamma

Sigma Tau Gamma (STG) is a national collegiate fraternity that are committed to six principles: learning, integrity, excellence, leadership, citizenship and brotherhood. In collaboration with Special Olympics, STG chapters put on events, volunteer and fundraise for Special Olympics. Locate a STG chapter near you.

Take a look at these guides for best practices to bring Special Olympics to your campus.

  • College Club Starter Guide 
  • Event Guide 
  • Special Olympics Unified Intramural Sports Guide 

Contact Us

Are you ready to make your college campus a more inclusive place? Contact us today at socollege@specialolympics.org.

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