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USF-St. Pete to Offer Special-Needs Students College Experience

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new program at USF St. Petersburg will provide students with intellectual disabilities a chance to get the full college experience starting in January.


What You Need To Know

  • Director: Classes with peers improve education of people with intellectual disabiities
  • Students audit classes, live on campus, create portfolio
  • Program lasts two to three years
  • Applications to be accepted within next couple months

“Just being in inclusive classes alongside peers at that college level really bolsters education and independence for these people with intellectual disabilities that would not otherwise have had the opportunity to have that college experience,” UMatter Director Danie Roberts-Dahm said.

With help of peer advisers and program officials, students will audit classes, engage in campus life, live on campus, and build a portfolio during their more than 2-year in the program.

“People with intellectual disability do have some challenges, certainly academically, but even in social areas and things, but with preparation, with time, with practice, with opportunities and experiences, they can attain those same goals and outcomes that everybody can attain,” Roberts-Dahm said.

Students will leave USF with a certificate of completion, along with a career readiness badge, and perhaps more importantly, the confidence it takes to succeed.

USF will begin accepting applications for this coming January within the next couple of months.​

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