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Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP)

Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP)
Minot State University
Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP)
500 University Ave W. Memorial Hall 203K
500 University Avenue West
Minot, ND 58707
icon name
Program Contact Tracey Olson
Program Contact Email
Phone 7018584496
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

Welcome to ASTEP (Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program)! ASTEP is an inclusive college program for students with intellectual and developmental (I/DD) disabilities. Located at Minot State University since 2010, ASTEP partners with MSU and Dakota College at Bottineau to provide the only program in North Dakota to support young adults with I/DD to attend college. Twenty students attended annually from all over the state as well as from neighboring states.

In an inclusive and supportive environment, ASTEP students attend college courses with students who don’t have disabilities, earn meaningful credentials, gain employment and learn independent living and social skills. ASTEP’s goal is to make the dream of college a reality for students with I/DD and create quality futures for these individuals to live and work in their communities.

Program information submitted: January 24, 2023

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
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 16
School district or agency partner: ASTEP will partner with any local school districts, regional Vocational Rehabilitation office, and/or Developmental Disability provider agency.
Program serves students who have left high school? Some of our students have left high school
Deadline to apply to this program: before April 30th of each year
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-26 years old
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: 3 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 90.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 100.00%
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $4753.88
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $4753.88
Room and board: $7145.00
Program fees: $8000.00
Additional costs: $1,100.00
Application fees: $35.00. Orientation fee: $125.00 Tuition/fees/books for Audit students that are in/out of state students: $2,961.98
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? No
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Local School District funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Federal financial aid is available to students' taking classes for credit and who qualify for those funding. ND Job Service has supported students who take classes for credit with funding with tuition.
Scholarships available: Ruby's Rainbow as support some of our students with scholarships.
Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes: One class per semester for independent living skill building. Peer mentors are a part of the class to provide a more inclusive environment.
Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 75-99%
Do all students in this program enroll in at least one inclusive college/university course for credit or audit each semester? Yes
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: The College to Career Certificate
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Yes, this credential has been through a formal approval process at the IHE
Other than the credential listed above, can students earn any other credentials that are available to all students? technical studies certificate or AAS, technology certificates and/or AAS, paraprofessional certificates or AAS, reception services certificate
Students in the program have access to the following campus-wide services:
  • Career services
  • Disability/accessibility services
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Health services
  • Access to a transcript via the registrar
  • Academic advising services (not program staff)
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 100%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 100%
Does this program have a working partnership with VR to provide funding, supports and/or services to students in the program? Yes
Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 100%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities
  • Registered student organizations
  • Student government
  • Club sports
  • Campus events
Students participate in these campus-wide events:
  • College/University's Student orientation
  • College/University's Family orientation
  • College/University's Graduation