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College of Adaptive Arts

College of Adaptive Arts
College of Adaptive Arts
College of Adaptive Arts
1401 Parkmoor Avenue
San Jose, CA 95126
Program Contact Pamela Lindsay
Phone 1-408-538-3809

The mission of students and staff at the College of Adaptive Arts (CAA) is to change perceptions of ability while providing educational opportunities previously and historically not available to the adult students served. CAA moves that mountain from its location in the San Jose Bay Area through a unique new model for innovative, lifelong learning opportunities in a collegiate environment for adults of all ages including students who happen to have Down syndrome, autism, and the whole beautiful range of differing abilities. Courses in 10 schools of study provide instruction through a copyrighted instructional model targeting core areas of social cognitive ability. All levels of learners are welcome as students learn at their individual paces and with personalized resource needs. Students continue ongoing adult education toward achievement of private and nontrasferrable 60-credit undergraduate diplomas, 180-cumulative credit graduate studies diplomas, and 420-cumulative credit diplomas in Communications, Science and Technology, Health and Wellness, Visual Arts, TV/Film, Music, Dance, Library Arts, Theatre, and Business. Credits are based on experience with and exposure to taught concepts. Students continue accessing skills as they work forward in their area(s) of emphasis at their own pace and level based on developmental needs and progress. For example, a CAA graduate student may enthusiastically move forward in classes for art or technology while continuing to access reading or writing skills. Classes operate out of one central campus location including a dance studio, TV/Film green screen space, digital and live music production facilities, classroom areas, visual arts studio, computer lab, library space, and additional breakout learning and event space. Other resources and opportunities for learning are provided through community collaborations with local professional groups for fitness, television broadcasting, theatre performance, dance, technology, and other professional areas. Most of CAA's students receive or have received vocational training and ILS services elsewhere. Many attend day programs and college classes at other locations as well, and have existing housing and transportation arrangements in th area. CAA does not provide transportation or housing. CAA is not a vocatinal studies program or group home CAA does not feed/toilet/offer on-on-one caregiving (although students may attend classes with a caregiver if necessary), and is not classified as a day program or recreational/respite activity. Instead, CAA is a state-vendorized, 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit offering lifelong adult education in a collegiate environment for adults of all ages based on the community college model. The main requirements for registration are the minimum age of 18 and student/family/caergiver commitment to follow CAA policies. Students do not "age out," and there is no limit to the number of quarters or years adults may attend. Attendence currently averages 100 students per quarter enrolled in multiple classes, for an average of 400+ filled seats per quarter. State coverage for quarterly classes is available based on qualifications of the student per regional center criteria, and such authorization is arranged with the regional center prior to class registration by the student/family. Steps to becomming a CAA Cardinal start with a site tour and submission of current registration paperwork, followed by set-up of a new online class registration account and confirmation of completed paperwork through the CAA registrar. Prospective conserved students must attend the site tour and registration set-up meetings with their primary caregiver/document co-signer. Go to to sign up for a tour date and time. Check out CAA's sports and cheer teams, recent class activities, and student events on Facebook or on our website:

Public or private: Public
Type of school: CAA is a new model providing lifelong education in a collegiate environment for study for adults of all ages and abilities.
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 100
Deadline to apply to this program: Ongoing.
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • 18+
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Adults of all differing abilities are welcome.
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Cost of the program: Tuition is $245.00 per class. Students may take one or multiple classes each quarter and can receive state funding through their regional center, scholarships through CAA, pay privately, or a combination of the above.
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)
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
Scholarships available:

Students may apply for a scholarship offering a discounted tuition rate for up to three classes per quarter. Students and student families can inquire by emailing the registrar at:

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Students do not take typical college courses
More about course access:

Students may engage in typical courses at other colleges prior to or during enrollment at CAA. Typical class participation is not required for enrollment or attendance. CAA offers private accreditation criteria for classes toward private, non-transferable diplomas.

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Must be a registered CAA student.

Time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 0%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 0%
We offer the following specialized credentials:

We do not provide vocational training or placement programs and do not track related outcome statistics, as students participate in separate programs for these purposes.

Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: No
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Examples include nine touring performance ensembles in dance, music, and theatre that travel throughout the area; production and broadcasting of an original television show with CreaTV; collaborations with local film houses for the annual and student-led CAA International Film Festival; community golf tournament honoring the golf and cheer teams; work with local schools bringing anti-bullying messages; collaborative workshops and performances with professional Bay Area dance and theatre companies; walking club participating in practices and walks for other nonprofits; student council "give-back" projects to benefit other nonprofits in the community; participation in disability awareness days in local venues such as City Hall and sporting arenas; learning through participation in multi-cultural events at the CAA site and in the community; live and online workshops featuring professionals from local and other areas and presenting information and experiences in CAA's multiple courses of study.

Last updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 18:18