Thursday, April 5, 2018

MSU offers new hope for students with disabilities

Now Montana State University is launching a program offering new opportunity and hope to students with disabilities — the chance to go to college and learn job skills.
Called LIFE Scholars, for Learning Is For Everyone, it was announced last week at MSU’s Diversity Symposium.

The goal is not to earn a bachelor’s degree, but to let students audit classes, participate in college clubs and activities, get experience in job internships and build a more independent life.

MSU plans to open LIFE Scholars to students age 18 or older who have intellectual disabilities, have completed high school and have a strong desire to attend college.
Students can pick a four-year, two-year or one-year program. The final year would be devoted to internships and jobs skills.

Students would likely sign up to audit one to three classes per semester at MSU and Gallatin College.

They would be eligible to wear a cap and gown at MSU’s graduation ceremonies, though they’d likely receive a certificate of completion, rather than a degree.

They would pay the same tuition and fees that typical students pay, plus a fee for the LIFE Scholars program. In a few years, students would have the chance to live in the dorms.
The LIFE Scholars program is estimated to cost $10,000 per student at the start, and tuition would likely cover about half of that, said Michael Becker, MSU spokesman. The EHHD College plans to cover the rest through grants, donations and university funds.

Read more here at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.