One of the most challenging obstacles facing transition-age youth in New Hampshire is the period between high-school graduation, which typically occurs around the age of 18, and the age at which young adults with ID qualify for supports or services they may need in their young adult life to pursue their adult life goals. With the exception of services from NH Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR), and community-based services available from the Area Agency system, young adults with ID who leave high school have few options for actualizing post-secondary goals.
Without tangible post-secondary options through institutions of higher education, many students do not have access to the typical coming-of-age milestones such as rooming with same-age peers, an inclusive social life, or advocating and navigating their way to fulfill their career dreams. Instead, they are left behind. UNH-4U was designed to address these glaring opportunity gaps, bridge authentic campus life experiences, and set the stage for a rich social life and future career.
Project Outcomes include:
- Launching the UNH-4U Bridges to College and Career Webinar Series, a virtual training series preparing youth for college and career.
- Expanding capacity for Universal Design for Learning within the UNH community
- Creating a federally-approved, 2-year inclusive Community Transition Program certificate program for an estimated 5-10 students in the first cohort.
- Developing UNH infrastructure for faculty supervised academic coaching and peer mentoring from same-age peers in undergraduate and graduate programs to support academic success and authentic campus life experience.
- Providing inclusive housing options, supporting students in acquiring the skills needed to live with greater independence in the community and post-graduation (based on COVID-19 procedures).
- Improving gainful competitive and integrated employment outcomes.
- Building capacity for higher education in NH for students with ID.