The University of Tennessee announced this week that it will pilot a program to include young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in university housing.

UT already offers a nonresidential vocational certificate program, FUTURE, and will open housing opportunities under the pilot program in the 2019-20 academic year.

Over two or three years, students in the program take FUTURE classes, may audit undergraduate courses and are placed in a work-based internship on or off campus. They also have access to career and clinical counseling to help develop academic, vocational, social and decision-making skills.

“The goal of the residential pilot program is to provide FUTURE students additional opportunities to learn and practice skills to further their independence,” said David Cihak, interim associate dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. “It aims to give FUTURE students the full campus experience.”

The residential pilot program will be available to up to 25% of FUTURE students, subject to housing availability. Students must have been enrolled in FUTURE for at least one year, and staff will evaluate prospective residents.

The university plans to evaluate the pilot program’s success by March 1, 2021.

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