UP program
University Participant (UP) Program

The WCU UP Program provides an inclusive, two-year, on-campus living and learning experience for college-aged persons with intellectual disabilities. The goal of the program is to facilitate transition of participants from secondary school to adult life with education, employment and independent living.  

UP students live in on-campus dormitories distributed throughout university residence halls under the same university policies that apply to all WCU students. On-campus life is fully integrated and inclusive. There are no separate facilities, settings or classes for UP participants.

WCU undergraduate students are recruited to provide paid and unpaid support to facilitate participants living on campus, attending classes, engaging in social and recreational activities, becoming involved in student organizations and developing friendships.

The UP Program is partially funded as one of the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) through the Office of Postsecondary Education serving as a model demonstration program for North Carolina.


For more information regarding admissions, prospective UP students and families are encouraged to look over our admission criteria, application checklist, open house information, and list of important dates/deadlines. 



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Support the UP Program with a tax-deductible gift:

  • Click on the button below
  • Click on Your Gift. Your Choice under Designations. Scroll down to Education and Allied Professions in pop-up window and choose University Participant (UP) Program

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Get Recent News

UP Program satellite partner, Western Piedmont Community College's ACE program, finalizes an informative video about the program.

Staff from Ruby's Rainbow visit WCU's UP Program and blog about their experience

UP Program graduate, Kenneth Kelty, meets with Rep. Holding in Washington, D.C to advocate for the ABLE act.

UP students, Ali Hale and Trace Schuler, elected WCU homecoming queen and  king (article1; article 2)

UP student, Ali Hale, has college life profiled on local news station

WCU and UP graduate, Michael Kozick, profiled in Georgia's Tucker Times newspaper

The College of the Albemarle's PACE program, a UP program satellite, is profiled. (August, 2014)

First year UP student, Ali Hale, is profiled on the news (June, 2014)

UP students study abroad with peers in England and Ireland

UP graduate, Michael Kozicki, accepts a job at the Children's Academy of Northlake (April, 2014)

UP student, Kenneth Kelty, has Think College Story about campus membership published

UP student, Kenneth Kelty, has his advice on inclusive evaluation posted on the American Evaluation Association's website (Nov, 2013)

UP Program graduate, David Maennle featured in the Cherokee Scout Newspaper (Nov, 2013)

UP Program featured in national publication (July, 2013)

UP graduates make history (July, 2013)

UP featured in Profiles and Promising Practices in Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability (May 2013)

Browse Publications
& Media

Watch videos, read archive news, download presentations, and access resources

Check out UP Program Facebook Page

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View posts,  pictures, and videos of UP participants and volunteers along with upcoming events!

Check out UP Program Instagram Page
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 Think College

National Coordinating Center



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