Wolverines Elevated (WE), a fully inclusive college program for students with intellectual disabilities at Utah Valley University (UVU), will be celebrating the graduation of its first cohort on May 3 at 8 am at the UCCU Center on UVU’s Orem Campus. There will be a celebration on May 1 for the family and friends of the graduates.

In the WE program, students work toward a certificate in integrated college and community studies, which includes coursework focusing on self-determination, independent living, and career development. Students are also able to pursue a second certificate from any of the offerings available at UVU. WE offers person-centered planning and individual goal setting that helps students to identify and work toward their individual college and career goals. Students participate in a variety of career development opportunities, including job sampling and on-campus and community internships.

“It is very exciting to see how their hard work and dedication has led them to accomplishing something they had only dreamed about,” said Anna Sisson, WE program manager. “Coming to college has helped students gain confidence and lifelong skills that will help them in their career as well as any of their life pursuits.”

Dr. Jane Carlson, director of the Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism, who oversees the Wolverines Elevated program said, “This program offers opportunities for students who would not otherwise be eligible to attend college to achieve their college dreams.   When students with intellectual disability are provided with opportunity and high expectations, they can and do succeed in college.”

WE is unique in its approach to student support. Peer mentors play a major role in teaching effective time management strategies, assisting in navigating the Canvas course management system, helping students learn strategies to support success on assignments, connecting them to resources on campus, and encouraging participation in social events. This support system makes sure that the students have the necessary tools and encouragement to thrive academically and socially at UVU.

In addition to the core program curriculum, WE students have the opportunity to engage in all that UVU has to offer. This includes full participation in student clubs, activities, and campus events, further enriching their college experience.

For more information about Wolverines Elevated and its transformative programs, please visit uvu.edu/wolverineselevated/ or contact Anna Sisson, the Wolverines Elevated program manager.