A Day in the Life of a UP Student

Download our sample schedules (PDF) to see a day in the life of a UP student.

  Austin reading
Austin Holloway is UP graduate from Winston-Salem, NC. She learned about children and strategies for speaking in front of large groups of people. Her interests included acting, dancing, singing and playing sports. Austin has worked in the Curriculum Materials collection at the Hunter Library and at  WCU's Mountain Heritage Center. After she graduates, Austin wants to get an apartment with a roommate and work for kennel or vet clinic.

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152 Cordelia Camp
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.3297 tel


Prospective UP Students & Families

If you want an individualized, fully inclusive college experience, you have come to the right place—here you will find a step-by-step process for applying to the UP Program. 

Important Dates and Deadlines for Fall 2015 Enrollment

  • November 22, 2014: Interviews and Open House for individuals applying for the upcoming fall semester. Please notify us of your planned attendance by sending an email to
  • December 1, 2014: Deadline for applications to be submitted for individuals applying for Fall 2015
  • February 2015: UP Admissions Steering Committee meeting to review applicants and notify selected participants
  • January 2015: Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1, 2014. Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • May 2015: Person-centered planning meetings for summer orientation
  • June 2015: Summer orientation for potential participants selected by the UP Admissions Steering Committee (one-week residential experience required)
  • June/July 2015: Final decisions made, deposits and forms due, advising and registration
  • Late August 2015: Four selected students will move into residence halls and start classes on the same date as all WCU students

Admission Criteria
Consideration for admission to the UP Program is given to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Are within the typical age range (18-25) of traditional college students
  • Have been enrolled in a high school special education program that does not lead to completion of a regular high school diploma and that does not allow students to complete requirements necessary for standard admission to WCU
  • Demonstrates communication skills adequate to interact with others on the WCU campus
  • Demonstrates socially acceptable behavior that will allow a favorable experience on the WCU campus
  • Adequately motivated to learn and benefit from participation in the UP Program
  • Expresses interest in living and working as independently as possible in their community after completing the UP Program and supported by parents and families to do so

All applicants to the UP Program are reviewed by the UP Program Steering Committee. This committee comprises the following individuals:

  • A WCU undergraduate or graduate student
  • A former parent of a UP Program graduate
  • A member of the Counseling Department with the College of Education and Allied Professions
  • The Dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions
  • WCU director of Financial Aid
  • UP Program director
  • UP Program coordinator
  • Director of Undergraduate Admission
  • Representative of Educational Outreach
  • Director of Residential Living
  • Director of Disability Services

Application Checklist (PDF)
1. A completed application (PDF) following the application instructions (PDF)
2. A résumé including all areas listed in the résumé template (docx)
3. Three letters of recommendation from teachers, administrators or community members following the suggested template (PDF)
4. Most current psychological assessment AND Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
5. Signed copy of UP Statement of Agreement (PDF)
6. Applicant video (five minutes or less) answering three questions (PDF) listed in the application packet (Note: The video interview can be completed at the Open House with UP Program personnel)
7. Family Personal Support Inventory (PDF)
8. $55 nonrefundable application fee (due after UP Admissions Steering Committee meets and you are contacted by UP Program coordinator)

Optional items can include completed portfolios and other honors and/or other commendations.

Please mail all completed application materials to:
WCU University Participant Program
152 Cordelia Camp Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
For questions regarding application deadlines, please call the UP Office: 828-227-3297

If you have questions regarding the Admissions Process, Application Checklist, or Open House, Please email


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