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Path to Independence

Path to Independence
University of Nevada, Reno
Path to Independence
1664 N. Virginia
MS 285
Reno, NV 89557
icon name
Program Contact Jessica Keefhaver
Program Contact Email
Phone 7756829057
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

The Path To Independence is an inclusive, two-year, non-degree certificate program offering a college experience to students with intellectual disabilities. Path to Independence is collaborative effort of UNR's Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED), the University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies Department (UNR EXS), Sierra and Rural Regional Centers (SRC/RRC), the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR), and with annual agreements established with cooperating school districts.

Program information submitted: January 27, 2023

Public or private: Public
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
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 14
Program serves students who have left high school? Some of our students have left high school
Deadline to apply to this program: January 31 (may be moved earlier for Fall 2024 admission)
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
Program length: 2 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 60.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 100.00%
Notes on acceptance and attendance:

Two students withdrew themselves from consideration, negatively impacting acceptance rate

Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $5000.00
Average out-of-state tuition, current year: $8000.00
Room and board: $7000.00
Program fees: $3700.00
Additional costs: $3,500.00

Meal plans $4,000-$6,000

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)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Local School District funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
Scholarships available:

Scholarship vary from year to year based on grants obtained. Scholarships are not always available. Previous candidates have received disability specific scholarships from Ruby’s Rainbow, or scholarships from their local communities.

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

Students must meet prerequisite requirements to take higher level courses. Students typically take 8 credits or less each semester in 100-200 level courses.

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

Student Success Lab to learn LMS platform in first semester only, Independent Living courses designated by program each semester, Pre-ETS course for employment skills and activities.

Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 75-99%
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: Career and Community Studies
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Yes, this credential has been through a formal approval process at the IHE
Students in the program have access to the following campus-wide services:
  • Career services
  • Disability/accessibility services
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Health services
  • Access to a transcript via the registrar
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 40%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 60%
Additional information about career development and work experience:

Work-based learning experiences are required in Semester 2. We continued to face challenges with employment interest due to COVID related concerns in the Fall 21 semester.

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: Yes
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 75-99%
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