Postsecondary Education Initiatives

The UCLA Tarjan Center is a proud advocate for inclusive higher education. Data show that going to college can improve the outcomes of young people with autism, intellectual, and developmental disabilities in the areas of employment, independence, physical health, and social well-being. Neurodiversity on college campuses and classrooms also leads to benefits for the student and staff population at large. We have programs, initiatives, and resources relevant to postsecondary education below.

Pathway at UCLA Extension
The UCLA Tarjan Center was a key champion in establishing a college program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at UCLA. Pathway is part of UCLA Extension, located right in Westwood, and is a 2-year program that offers a standard curriculum for all students covering Health & Nutrition, Relationships & Sexuality, Career Development, and Time Management & Organization. In addition to these core classes, students can pursue professional and vocational certificates through UCLA Extension courses and get to know fellow Bruins through UCLA Recreation classes. Students are connected to internship opportunities and are paired with a UCLA undergrad for individualized academic coaching. Pathway students can additionally opt to live in shared apartments in Westwood with independent living supports.
Partnership with the California Community Colleges
The UCLA Tarjan Center serves as a consultant to the California Community College (CCC) system through support from the CCC Chancellor’s Office. In this role, the UCLA Tarjan Center works closely with the network of over 100 community colleges in the state to provide training, support, and informational resources to faculty, staff, and students to increase equitable access, success, and belonging of neurodivergent students on campus. We work particularly closely with the campus disability services offices and with specialized programs embedded within the CCC system serving autistic students and students with intellectual disability. Our activities in this partnership include the Advancing College Capacity for Equitable Student Success (ACCESS) webinar and newsletter series, both of which can be viewed at any time by anyone interested.
Community Resources
Beyond these projects, the UCLA Tarjan Center is committed to serving the community in the area of postsecondary education. We have compiled resources and information that might be of interest to families, students, and professionals.