Founder of the RISE Program and alumnus Gayle Gianopulos shared her vision of providing a post-secondary educational opportunity for students with intellectual disabilities. Gayle dreamed of a day when her two daughters with an Intellectual Disability would have an opportunity to attend college and experience wonderful college memories like she did when attending Judson. In 2016, Gayle and founding RISE Director Kathy Lambert worked to create the program. In the fall of 2017, the first cohort successful began. Since that time, RISE has been recognized as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) through the U.S. Department of Education and the State of Illinois Department of Education.