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Getting Set For Lifelong Learning

Continued learning experiences enrich the lives of all young adults including those with disabilities as they learn new skills and embark on the adventure of exploring and doing what they love.

This learning module provides a variety of information and resources about learning options for your young adult. We hope you enjoy the journey, and remember that the Utah Parent Center is here to help you at any step along the way.

Post Secondary Education Options

Community Education Classes for Lifelong Learners

Adult community education classes develop new skills, deepen knowledge and help students pursue new opportunities. These classes are provided at low cost by many colleges, school districts, libraries, USU Extensions, and other community organizations. See our handout on Community and Adult Education.

Adult Education Programs

Adult education empowers individuals to become self-sufficient, with skills necessary for future employment and personal successes. Classes assist adults with and without disabilities to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency while completing a high school education. For students with disabilities, accommodations can be made in the Adult Education Program.

Utah Adult Education is a program of instruction below college level for adults. Please see our handout on Community and Adult Education .

Non-Credit College Classes

Perhaps your student wants to take a class at your local college, but is not quite ready to take classes for credit. Most college courses can be taken for no credit which means grades do not count and fees may be reduced. Universities and colleges often refer to this as “auditing” a class. For more about auditing a class please see our information on College and University Programs below.

Certificate Courses

Certificates are the fastest growing college credential, and can have a big wage payoff. Certificates or proficiency credentials issued now account for 22 % of post-secondary credentials awarded. Certificate programs take less time than a traditional degree and can be obtained typically within months to a year. For more about certificate programs:

Disability Specific College Opportunities

Programs created for students with specific kinds of disabilities including intellectual disabilities and autism provide the opportunity to take classes and participate in the college or university community.

Through inclusive postsecondary education, all students with disabilities can take classes, access recreational and social opportunities and be included in the community college, four year college and university experience. More and more colleges and universities in Utah and across the country are realizing this vision and designing programs that allow individuals with disabilities to participate. Please see our handout on College and University programs for more information and updated resources and lists of programs.

Regular College Classes with or without support

Many students with disabilities, like students without disabilities, will be capable of taking classes at a regular college of university. Some students may only need the supports available to all students like the tutoring lab, while other students may need more support. Every Public University and College, including Applied Technology Colleges, is required to have a disability services office to help students with equal access and to provide accommodations. Some private universities such as BYU and Westminster also have disability services offices. These offices vary in size and how they operate, and they may have different names. These offices or centers provide a variety of individualized accommodations and resources including help with applying for admission, classroom related accommodations, and campus event accommodations. For more information:

Online College Classes

Students with disabilities or special health care needs may explore the great variety of popular online classes and programs offered by colleges and universities. Please see our handout on colleges and universities for more information.

Tips to Prepare for Post- Secondary Education

What can parents and youth do to prepare for education after high school? This handout gives 5 ways youth can prepare themselves for success in post-secondary education.

Success Stories

Featured Resources

Utah Futures

Utah Futures is a website made especially for parents and youth living in Utah who want to explore their interests, aptitudes, and college and career options. Take quizzes to understand your interests, watch videos about different careers, explore college programs, search for jobs in Utah and much more:

Think College

Think College is a website dedicated to helping those with intellectual and other disabilities experience college. Search for inclusive college programs across the country. The site is full of resources, videos and helpful articles for both parents and students on getting to and finding success in college:

Disability Resource Centers

Want to learn more about Disability Resource Centers? Check out this video webinar called “Disability Services in Higher Education”. The video explains what disability resource centers do, and what kind of documentation your student will need to receive services.

Other lifelong learning options

For information on other lifelong learning options outside of college, watch this webinar video about how to access different types of lifelong learning opportunities here in Utah:

ACT and SAT Planning

For youth with a disability planning to take the ACT or SAT that there is a specific process to follow to get accommodations on those tests. For more about the process, what to do and when please visit the link below.

We at the Utah Parent Center wish you the best as you work to help your family member with disabilities create the life he or she dreams of. Be sure to access our website at utahparentcenter.org to see our extensive resources and training related to transition from high school to adult life. If you have concerns or questions, please give us a call and speak with one of our knowledgeable parent consultants.

5296 S Commerce Dr., Suite 302, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
Phone: 801.272.1051
Toll-Free in Utah: 1.800.468.1160
Email: info@utahparentcenter.org

This page was funded by a grant from Interagency Outreach Training Initiative at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.