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Next Steps at Vanderbilt University

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
230 Appleton Place
PMB 552
Nashville, TN 37203
icon name
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Program Contact Jessica Clifton
Program Contact Email
Phone 615-377-3978
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 4-year inclusive higher education program committed to providing neurodiverse students an inclusive, transformational postsecondary education in academics, social and career development, and independent living, while honoring equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.

Program information submitted: February 1, 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: 35
Summer program name Next Steps Summer Institute
Description of our summer transition program:

NSSI is a week-long Preview of the Next Steps at Vanderbilt Experience and a valuable part of the Next Steps at Vanderbilt orientation. Students will stay in a dorm with counselors for assistance. There will be classes, guest speakers, group activities, social events, and more!

Summer program link: Next Steps Summer Institute
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: January 31
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-26
Accepts out-of-state students? Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: 4 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 52.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 80.00%
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $24708.00
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $24708.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Tuition Waivers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Grant Funding
Scholarships available:

Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship

Vanderbilt University Faculty and Staff Dependent Tuition Assistance


Tennessee Student Assistance Award

Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
More about course access:

Each student's Program of Study includes up to two Vanderbilt Courses per semester. Belonging to the rich Vanderbilt learning community is a perfect place for students to develop and practice critical vocational skills and continue to become lifelong learners. Students have participated in over 300 different university courses with over 250 of our esteemed faculty members. A list of courses can be found on our website.

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

During the freshmen and sophomore years, students enrolled in three weekly, foundational Nest Steps Career and Community Studies (CCS) courses that focus on skill development that are essential for living an independent life. Upperclassmen complete an Experiential Seminar (ES) each semester. These are independent studies that offer different ways for students to become more skilled and knowledgeable in a topic. Students self-select the skills they want to explore and learning experiences are created to meet this challenge. We design a Program of Study that encourages students to "Experience" what they want t learn outside the confines of a classroom. With guidance from their tutor, students follow their customized syllabus.

Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 50-74%
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: Certificate of Completion
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Awarded by program, not officially recognized by the IHE
Students in the program have access to the following campus-wide services:
  • Career services
  • Disability/accessibility services
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Health services
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 42%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 88%
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 off 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
  • Fraternities/sororities
Students participate in these campus-wide events:
  • College/University's Student orientation
  • College/University's Family orientation
  • College/University's Graduation