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University of Tennessee FUTURE Program

University of Tennessee FUTURE Program
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee FUTURE Program
1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Bailey Education Complex A401
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
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Program Contact Emma Burgin
Phone 336-253-0167

The University of Tennessee’s FUTURE Program is a two or three year vocational certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) including autism and is designated as a Comprehensive Transition Program by the U.S. Department of Education. FUTURE students develop skills which enable them to be more productive and valuable community members.

Essential components of FUTURE include: classes focusing on career exploration/workplace skills, digital literacy, and life skills; structured internships; modfications and supports to ensure student success in classes offered in a wide range of university programs and departments; and the opportunity to participate in campus activities and events. Housing is offered for second year students and above. FUTURE offers an inclusive experience, with fellow undergraduate students supporting students to be fully integrated into campus life. Since the program's inception, well over 300 undergraduate students from more than 25 majors have served as peer mentors.

The FUTURE program is committed to the vision of the University and its value of diversity and inclusion. The program provides training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students: graduate assistants (GAs), peer mentors and FUTURE students to develop and refine their leadership and career skills. The program has provides ongoing opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students to pursue research, furthering our understanding of best practices in the I/DD field.

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
Number of students: 20
School district or agency partner: Knox County, Anderson County, Blount County, and Sevier County School Districts
Deadline to apply to this program: March 1
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • 18-29 at admission
  • Upon application, it is expected that students will demonstrate the following minimal requirements: ● Active student participation throughout the application/interview process ● Have proof of eligibility for IDEA or 504 accommodations while in school ● A 4 th grade reading level or higher is recommended (applicants with lower reading levels may be considered for conditional admission) ● Basic mathematics understanding and ability to use a calculator ● Ability to function independently for a sustained period of time ● No severe behavior or emotional problems ● Ability to change supports and schedules without becoming overly stressed ● Ability to be successful in competitive employment situations ● Desire and motivation to complete a postsecondary education program, ● Have health insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, private), ● Be between the ages of 18-29 at the start of the program, ● Demonstrate ability to communicate with staff, faculty, and mentors
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Developmental Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other cognitive disabilities.
Program length: Varies from student to student
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
  • Federal Financial Aid
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Classes focus on career exploration/workplace skills, digital literacy, and life skills.

Time spent only with other students in this program: Between 25% of the time and half the time
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 20%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 85%
Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
  • Note that housing is available for students in their second year and higher.
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: 25%
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Students have full access to campus clubs and organizations.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 12:05