California State University, Northridge (CSUN) will begin a two-year program starting this fall called CSUN Explorers in hopes of increasing the employability and independence of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
CSUN Explorers is a postsecondary program accessible through the university’s Tseng College. Individuals in the program will not be earning a degree, but will gain necessary work and life skills and become more independent through classes and internships on campus.
“Instead, they will receive a certificate of completion that signifies that the individual has increased their level of independence through significant progress in academic exploration, competitive employability, social competency and self-advocacy,” said Dr. Beth Lasky, special education professor and creator of the program.
CSUN is the second CSU campus to offer a program of this sort. The first was by Fresno State, who launched a similar program called Wayfinders in 2011.
In order to apply for CSUN Explorers, individuals have to be between the ages of 18 and 28, meet CSU admissions requirements, apply and be accepted to CSUN, have a certificate of completion or GED from a high school and be a diagnosed person of intellectual or developmental disability.