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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
Program Contact Email
Phone 1-408-538-3809
Website Program website
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 unavailable to the adult students served. CAA moves that mountain from its location at the West Valley College campus in Saratoga, CA, and through online classes available statewide, nationwide, and globally. We offer 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.

There are no age or skill level requirements. 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"; student ages range from 18-73. There is no limit to the number of quarters or years adults may attend. Enrolled students may take one class, return later to register for more classes, or attend every quarter of our four-quarter school year based on student choice.

Courses in 10 areas of study provide instruction through a copyrighted 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 the achievement of private and non-transferrable credits toward undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate diplomas meeting students' individual needs for personalized resources and goals in Communications, Science and Technology, Health and Wellness, Visual Arts, TV/Film, Music, Dance, Library Arts, Theatre, and Business. Credits are experience and classroom-based. Home activities are optional, with no homework requirements or graded assignments.

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. Classes operate online and out of a central on-campus location. Other learning opportunities include inclusive community collaborations, special events, and workshops.

Most of CAA's students receive or have received vocational training and ILS services elsewhere. Many local students attend day programs and college classes at other locations and have existing housing and transportation arrangements in the area. CAA does not provide transportation or housing. CAA is not a vocational studies program, day program, recreational/respite activity, or group home and does not offer one-on-one caregiving (although students may attend classes with a caregiver if necessary). Instead, CAA is a state-vendorized, 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit offering educational options in a collegiate environment for adults of all ages based on the community college model.

Steps to becoming a CAA Cardinal start with a site tour and submission of current registration paperwork, followed by the 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 support provider/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 our website.

Program information submitted: October 18, 2022

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 high school 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
  • Student must be 18 or older
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.

Additional costs: $275.00

Each course at CAA costs $275.00 per class, per quarter.

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
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
Scholarships available:

CAA offers a scholarship program where students may apply for up to 3 classes at $75.00 per class.

Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive 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
Information on special classes:

CAA classes are separate from and non-transferrable to the state-accredited college system.

Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 0%
Do all students in this program enroll in at least one inclusive college/university course for credit or audit each semester? No
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Private, non-transferrable diplomas.
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Awarded by program, not officially recognized by the IHE
Other than the credential listed above, can students earn any other credentials that are available to all students?

<p>Students can earn credits based on internal, private crediting criteria achievable by all students of all abilities toward non-transferable undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate private diplomas.</p>

Other career development activities are:
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Additional information about career development and work experience:

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? No
Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: No
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 1-24%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities Campus events