Texas A&M University launches college program for students with disabilities

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas A&M University says they're launching the state's first four-year, post-secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In a press release posted on the school's website, the program is called Aggie ACHIEVE, which stands for Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences.

It's described as a certificate-based program for young adults with disabilities designed to help them expand their interests and prepare them for a job.

The school says students from across the state will have the opportunity to live on campus, participate in classes and serve in clubs and organizations.

"This is not meant to be a place to come get the college experience and then go back to what you were doing before," said Dr. Carly Gilson, an assistant professor of special education at Texas A&M and the creator of Aggie ACHIEVE. "The intention of this program is to provide a rigorous education, academics and employment experience that will prepare these young adults to go out and work in the community in a job they are interested in that matches their strengths."

The school says though they will not receive a degree from Texas A&M, they will graduate with a certificate, acknowledging their completion of the program.

Students in Aggie ACHIEVE are required to pay tuition and fees. Gilson says they're working to receive a comprehensive transition program designation to help offset many of those fees.

A CTP designation allows students to receive federal funding. If approved, Aggie ACHIEVE will be the first CTP in Texas.

To learn more, visit Aggie ACHIEVE's website.

The University of Texas also has a post-secondary opportunity for people with or without a disability, who are over the age of 18 with a high school diploma, and are looking for a job.

According to the program's website, E4Texas is a "3-semester experience" that combines classroom instruction with career building experiences, independent living skills, and self-determination.

To learn more, visit E4Texas' website.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.