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Access ETSU

East Tennessee State University

About Us

Access student in class

Access ETSU provides students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) with similar college experiences as their same age peers.

In partnership with area school systems, local agencies, and the ETSU Community, Access ETSU offers these students access to environments that will prepare them not only for smooth transition outcomes, but for enhanced life outcomes.

Who is eligible?

Students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who

  • are 18-28 years old
  • have a personal desire to continue their education at the university level
  • want to expand their employment prospects

Scholarships and financial aid may be available. Contact a Principal Investigator for more information about scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

What will they learn?

Each student’s educational program is based on a person-centered individualized planning process. Each student chooses coursework and vocational preparation options based upon their interests and strengths. 
How will Access support them?

Access ETSU offers:

  • Comprehensive educational instruction
  • Vocational preparation
  • Community integration
  • Recreational support

What about campus life?

Students are encouraged to participate in campus activities and use campus amenities just like any other ETSU student. Students have access to

  • Intramurals
  • Center for Physical Activity
  • Cafeteria
  • Student Life events
  • Library resources and materials
  • Sports games and other special events

According to ThinkCollege, 78% of similar programs have students who joined campus organizations.

How will Access affect their employment opportunities?

Students who participate in inclusive higher education programs are more likely to get a job. After Access, students are better prepared to seek out and take advantage of employment opportunities. Students also gain valuable vocational skills that match their interests and abilities. 

Data from ThinkCollege shows that 61% of students who completed a similar program had a paid job one year after exit.

Access student using computer in the library

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