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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 2020 Enrollment

  • December 1, 2019: Deadline for applications to be submitted for individuals applying for Fall 2020
  • January/February 2020: UP Admissions Steering Committee meeting to review applicants and notify students who are selected for Orientation Camp
  • ASAP: Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • March 2020: Spring Orientation Camp for potential UP students selected by the UP Admissions Steering Committee (multi-day residential experience required)
  • April 2020: Final decisions made, deposits and forms due, advising and registration
  • August 2020: 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:

  • Age 18-25 at the time of admission with a documented intellectual disability (IQ ~ 70 or lower)
  • Have been enrolled in a high school special education program (such as the Occupational Course of Study or Certificate of Completion) 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
  • Former parents of UP Program graduates
  • WCU Director of Financial Aid
  • UP Program Co-Directors
  • UP Program Career Development Coordinator/Administrator
  • Administration Representative from the College of Education and Allied Professions
  • Representatives of Undergraduate Admission
  • Representatives of Educational Outreach
  • Representatives of Residential Living
  • Director of Accessibility Resources
  • WCU Faculty that have taught UP students
  • WCU Employers who have worked with UP students
  • Representatives from Tutoring and Student Success Centers

UP Application Checklist and Packet

  1. A completed application following the application instructions
  2. A résumé including all areas listed in the résumé template
  3. Three recommendation forms from teachers, administrators or community members following the suggested template
  4. Most current psychological assessment AND Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  5. Signed copy of UP Statement of Agreement
  6. Applicant video (five minutes or less) answering the questions without prompting listed in the application packet (Note:The video interview can be completed at the Open House with UP Program personnel)
  7. Family Personal Skills Inventory
  8. Office of Accessibility Resources Intake Form
  9. $65 nonrefundable application fee (check written to WCU)

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

Please mail all completed application materials to:
WCU University Participant Program
1 University Way, Killian 205
Cullowhee, NC 28723

For further questions regarding Admissions, Applications, or Open House, please email or call the UP Office: 828-227-3297

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