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College of Adaptive Arts

College of Adaptive Arts
College of Adaptive Arts
College of Adaptive Arts
14000 Fruitvale Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070
Program Contact DeAnna Pursai
Phone 1-408-538-3809
Facebook link to program Facebook page

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 post-graduate 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 online as well as out of a central on-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, science and 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 the area. CAA does not provide transportation or housing. CAA is not a vocational studies program or group home CAA does not offer one-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/caregiver 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. Attendance 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 live or online site tour and registration set-up meetings, including their primary caregiver/document co-signer if necessary. 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:

Program information submitted: March 10, 2021

Public or private: Public
Type of school: CAA is a new community college 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
Program serves students who have left high school? Yes, all of our students have left high school
Regular H.S. diploma required? No, an IEP/non-standard diploma/certificate of attendance is accepted
Deadline to apply to this program: none, registration windows are set for each individual quarter.
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18 and above
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Adults with all differing abilities may apply.
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term 100.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one 90.00%
Notes on acceptance and attendance: Students may sign up for individual classes or pursue a diploma track. There is no limit to the number of classes and years they may attend. They select the classes they want to take when they want to take them. Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal.
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year $250.00
Average out-of-state tuition, current year $250.00
Room and board: $0.00
Program fees: $0.00
Cost of the program:
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
Scholarships available: CAA offers a scholarship program where students may apply for up to 3 classes at $75.00 per class.
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: Typically, students attending CAA have not had equitable opportunities for lifelong collegiate learning and are looking for a program with individualized learning goals and time frames. Some do attend other college classes but typically are not pursuing accredited diploma tracks for the above reasons.
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Are students in this program able to access support services through your IHE disability services office? Yes
Information on special classes: CAA classes are separate from and non-transferrable to the state-accredited college system.
Percentage of academic time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Private, non-transferrable diplomas.
Is the credential IHE-approved? Awarded by program, not officially recognized by the IHE
Other career development activities are:
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
We offer the following specialized credentials: not a vocational placement program.
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: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: No
Proportion of social time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time