PASSAGE USA, (Preparing All Students Socially and Academically for Gainful Employment) is a postsecondary, non-degree, certificate program. This program is designed for students who need extra supports to be successful in our community.
Through person-centered planning, we help students define their goals for their future. These goals are turned into an individualized Adult Education Plan (AEP) in which we target the skills they need to achieve their goals. These skills include independent living, social, employment, and self-determination skills.
Students in the program will be full university campus members, which includes:
- Access to campus recreation
- Academic inclusion in classes
- Inclusion in campus social activities
Students attend elective classes with other USA students, as well as, attend specialized classes that target the skills they need to achieve their goals. They participate in a work internship each semester. Peer Mentors (other USA students) act as natural supports on and off campus to help foster independence and learning.
PASSAGE USA is thrilled to announce the expansion of the 2-year Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) program at the University of South Alabama for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ages 18 – 28). The expansion, beginning in 2021, includes:
Program length options—Students may now choose to enroll in either the 2-year Program or 4- year Program. Each program includes individualized Adult Education Plans (AEP) including academic, social, independent living, self-determination, self-advocacy, community integration and employment outcomes developed by a person-centered planning (PCP) approach.
- 2-year Program—For students interested in continuing their academic, career and technical, and independent living development to prepare for gainful employment. Students enroll in non-credit undergraduate courses and have inclusive employment experiences to develop the skills needed to obtain and retain jobs. Upon completing the program requirements, students receive the PASSAGE USA Completion Certificate at Commencement. The 2-year program is a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) program. Students in this program can use the FASFA to apply for need-based federal financial aid.
- 4-year Program—For students interested in pursuing an academic area of emphasis and have the desire to live as independently as possible in their communities. Students enroll in the same curriculum structure as the 2-year program, but will receive advanced instruction in independent living, self-determination and self-advocacy, social, and employment skills in years 3 and 4. Students will choose at least two “inclusive” courses per semester that will lead toward their academic area of emphasis (e.g., Hospitality and Tourism Management; Recreation and Leisure; Health, Nutrition, and Wellness; or Interdisciplinary Studies). Students will also participate in additional work experiences in integrated competitive employment settings at least 25 hours a week. In the students’ 4th year, they will participate in the Community-Based Residential Internship where they will live in a community housing option identified by each student and their family. Upon completing the program requirements, students receive the PASSAGE USA 4-year Completion Certificate at Commencement. At this time, the 4-year program is not a CTP and students cannot access federal financial aid.
- Extended Program—Some students completing the 2-year program will be invited to continue their enrollment in PASSAGE USA by working towards an academic area of emphasis as well as extended work experiences, and participation in the Community- Based Residential Internship. Upon completing the program requirements, students receive the PASSAGE USA 4-year Completion Certificate at Commencement. At this time, the Extended Program is not a CTP and students cannot access federal financial aid.
Major Grant Fuels PASSAGE USA Expansion
The College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama has been awarded a $2.3 million U. S. Department of Education grant to expand its PASSAGE USA program, which assists students with intellectual disabilities.
Donate to PASSAGE USA
The Gaillard-Neville Reynolds Scholarship fund has been established to support students in the PASSAGE USA program.
Click on this video to learn more about PASSAGE USA.
Interested in applying as a student?
For full eligibility requirements, please, see the USA PASSAGE Admissions page. Applying for PASSAGE USA is a process, and requires several steps. To start the PASSAGE USA application process, click here.
Interested in applying as a peer mentor?
This project is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post- Secondary Education Grant # P407A150076 and P407A200064.