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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 (IDD) 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; modifications and supports to ensure student success in classes offered in a wide range of university programs and departments; an Independent Living Program in partnership with University Housing; and the opportunity to participate in campus activities and events. Housing is offered for all students after an assessment of support needs is completed. Off-campus housing is supported as well.

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 400 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 inclusive postsecondary education and IDD fields.

Program information submitted: February 25, 2021

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: 21
School district or agency partner: Knox County, Anderson County, Blount County, and Sevier County School Districts
Program serves students who have left high school? Yes, all of our students have left high school
Regular H.S. diploma required? No, an IEP/non-standard diploma/certificate of attendance is accepted
Deadline to apply to this program: March 1
Criteria for admission
  • Age range: 18-29
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term 30.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one 100.00%
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year $9500.00
Room and board: $7000.00
Program fees: $2500.00
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)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Grant Funding
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for audit
More about course access: FUTURE students have access to the University's undergraduate catalog, as long as the course does not have major restrictions or unfulfilled prerequisites.
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Are students in this program able to access support services through your IHE disability services office? Yes
Information on special classes: Digital Literacy, Career and Life Planning, and Life Skills
Percentage of academic time spent only with other students in this program: About half the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Vocational Certificate
Is the credential IHE-approved? Yes, this credential has been through a formal approval process at the IHE
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 25%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 80%
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 on campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of social time spent only with other students in this program: 25%