Post-Secondary Education

Western Carolina University – UP

1 University Way, Cullowhee, NC 28723

Services/Programs Description

The WCU UP Program provides an inclusive, two-year, on-campus living and learning experience for college-aged persons with intellectual disability. The goal of the program is to facilitate UP students' transition from secondary school to adult life with education, employment, and independent living. The UP program currently can enroll up to 12 students at a time.


Below is the application criteria to the WCU UP program:
- 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 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
- Demonstrates ability to be unsupervised overnight and manage own medications
- 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 with paid employment at or above minimum wage working 20 or more hours per week after completing the UP Program and supported by parents and families to do so


Students must pay university fees to audit courses.

Phone Number(s)


Work Together NC