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 students.
WCU undergraduate students are recruited to provide paid and unpaid support to facilitate UP Students living on campus, attending classes, engaging in social and recreational activities, becoming involved in student organizations, and developing friendships.
The UP Program started as a pilot program in 2007 then was partially funded as one of the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) through the Office of Postsecondary Education and continues to serve as a model demonstration program for North Carolina.
Now officially the first accredited inclusive post-secondary program in the country!
University Participant Program students are not eligible for an undergraduate or graduate degree from the university and are not eligible to earn college credit, however they do recieve a Certificate of Accomplishment awarded through WCU's Educational Outreach department. UP students are permitted to audit individual courses as part of the UP Program and required to pay appropriate fees for these courses as well as other university costs (i.e., housing, meal plan, student activities, etc). The UP Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded after a two-year period based on satisfactory completion of at least 80% of their goals each semester and continued growth in each of five program components. These components include the following:
Note: UP students must pay current university fees for auditing courses.
Here are a few highlights and testimonials in our recent UP to Date Report created in Fall of 2023.
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Interested in seeing what life is like as a UP student at WCU? Check out our student life page to see what UP is all about!
While the staff below oversee the operations of the UP program, it is the amazing natural supports who truly make the program happen! We couldn't operate without the 200+ natural supports that help out each semester. Interested in getting involved? Check out how to get involved and make the most out of your college experience!