Two state universities — Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha — are enabling more students with disabilities to attend college thanks to their residential programs.

These programs not only help students achieve academic goals, but they also prepare them for independent living. Graduates are earning a living wage and living independently.

RiverHawks Scholar Program at Northeastern State University

In August of 2018, the RiverHawks Scholar Program began at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Designed for students with mild to mild-moderate developmental or intellectual disabilities, the program focuses on social, academic, career readiness and independent living skills.

During this four-year and fully inclusive program, students live on campus in integrated housing. They will have the support of a trained resident assistant. To further encourage immersion into college life, students are required to be a member of an active club or organization of their choice.

Students take two traditional university courses and receive the appropriate supports to succeed. They also take one specialized session each semester. Students can earn college credits for the traditional university courses.

Northern State University is currently accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Learn more about the RiverHawks Scholar Program and how to apply. March 15, 2019 is the preferred application deadline.

The Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO)

The Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity at USAO helps students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) succeed in their post-secondary education. From transitioning into college life to developing self-advocacy skills, their comprehensive program includes varying levels of support for academic and social life.

Students in the program gain independent living skills while also receiving assistance with achieving their professional goals. They work with specially trained faculty advisors and staff coaches to improve time management, prioritization and academic performance.

To become a participant in this program, students need to meet USAO’s admission standards as well as apply to participate in the program. To remain in the center, they need to maintain a full-time enrollment schedule. Graduates earn a bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity, including how to apply to the center.

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