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L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center

L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center
Grand Canyon University
L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center
Grand Canyon University, Attention: Dr. Heidi Boldway
3300 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85043
Program Contact Dr. Heidi Boldway
Program Contact Email
Phone 602-639-7094
Website Program website

The L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center was inspired by a young woman with and intellectual disability who had a desire to experience college life, like her brother, and gain skills toward fulfilling employment. The L.O.P.E.S. Academy is a two-year, non-degree, not-for-credit program within the Grand Canyon University environment for young adults with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities with a focus on finding personal purpose through academic, social, and job skills development. The fourth semester of the program includes the opportunity for a professional internship with the goal of employment.

Program information submitted: January 20, 2023

Public or private: Private
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: 21
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: August 25, 2023 or until the cohort is full
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-27
Accepts out-of-state students? No
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: 2 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: 90.00%
Notes on acceptance and attendance: Applicants are pre-screened prior to an interview to ensure the program is a fit. Therefore, most who are invited to interview for the program are accepted. The first cohort was capped at ten. Subsequent cohorts are capped at 12. One Cohort #1 participant did not return for health reasons.
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $5000.00
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)
  • Grant Funding
  • Private donations
Scholarships available: Scholarships are established through private donations.
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: The students in the L.O.P.E.S. Academy are welcome to sit in on classes with their assigned buddy. However, their neurodiversity level limits their ability to be successful in college courses. The L.O.P.E.S. Academy developed courses that parallel college courses which focus on workforce development minus the anxiety of formal assessments.
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes: Courses in the program include: Communication and Social Skills Finding your Purpose Through a Christian Worldview Professionalism and Customer Service Nutrition and Health/Well-Being Math and Daily Living Campus Experience Internship
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: Students are provided with a certificate of program completion
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? Students have the option of earning a basic Microsoft Word certificate and a food handlers card.
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 14%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Additional information about career development and work experience: A professional internship on campus is required in the fourth semester of the program to apply workforce development skills learned in the program coursework.
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
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 50-74%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities
  • Registered student organizations
  • Campus events
Students participate in these campus-wide events: College/University's Graduation