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Mississippi State University
01 Montgomery Hall
P.O. Box 806
Mississippi State, MS 39762
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Program Contact Beca Spencer
Phone 662.325.8375

ACCESS at Mississippi State University promotes successful transition of students with intellectual disabilities into higher education. ACCESS (Academics, Campus Life, Community Involvement, Employment Opportunities, Socialization, and Self-Awareness) provides inclusive opportunities for diverse learners to realize their full potential with appropriate supports for academic and social success. ACCESS students participate in university catalog courses, live in on-campus residential housing, engage in professional internships, and enjoy an active social life with friends. ACCESS is designed to reduce the amount of support needed by the student as he or she progresses through the program and into the world of independence. Upon completing the four-year ACCESS program, students will receive a Certificate of Completion and will participate in MSU’s graduation ceremonies.

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 22
Deadline to apply to this program: December1, 2019
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Other diploma (e.g., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Developmental disabilities
Program length: 4 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 15%
Retention rate: 90%
Cost of the program: Cost Summary is per Semester: MSU Tuition & Fees $8,750; University Courses - $360.59/credit hour (min. 3 hours per semester required); Books - Subject to University course requirements; On-Campus Housing $3,724 - $4,346; Meal Plan $1,820 - $1,960; Average Semester Cost $15,117-$15,247 $30,234-$30,494
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

ACCESS courses are life skill based courses and open to all MSU students. ACCESS students in these classes are paired with students without disabilities as peer mentors. The majority of the ACCESS core is taught outside the classroom with ACCESS students and peer mentors partnering to meet the objectives in each class. Lecture classes are used sparingly, only to introduce new units and objectives. ACCESS courses incorporate lesson plans with objectives tied to activities that promote hands-on learning. Students are assigned projects with real-world applications. Assignments also provide insight into writing, social, and behavioral skills through the use of authentic assessments.  

Time spent only with other students in this program: Between 25% of the time and half the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Students who complete ACCESS receive a Certificate of Completion at the MSU commencement.
The credential(s) is/are:
  • Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
  • Just for students in this program
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 50%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 75%
We offer the following specialized credentials:

 No, ACCESS does not offer certificates that have a specific career focus. However, a person-centered advising and curriculum structure is individualized to meet the specific goals of each ACCESS student in order to reach their maximum potential. Course selection aligns with the student’s interests and career goals.

Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: 50%
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Inclusion and participation in the social aspects of life at MSU are key to giving ACCESS students the opportunity to fully enjoy their college experience. Enjoying the college experience includes meeting new people and getting involved in campus life.Since the beginning of our program in 2010, students in ACCESS have successfully integrated into social groups and developed lasting friendships with students without intellectual disabilities.  Examples include: Student Association Senate, Greek Life (sororities & fraternities), Special Olympic College Unified Sports league, Art Outreach Team, ACCESS Art Club, MSU Women of State Choir, Service Dawg Days, Bulldogs on the Move, Day One Leadership Recruitment Organization, and many more!

Last updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 14:40