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Career and Community Studies (Non-Degree) PDFDownload to print

College of Education, Health and Human Services

School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences

405 White Hall
Tel: 330-672-2294


Career and Community Studies is a college-based, transition, non-degree program to prepare students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism (ages 18 and older) for adult life through academic pursuits, peer socialization, and career discovery and preparation. The program integrates inclusive classes, a typical college experience, and a transition curriculum to assist students in achieving adult roles and a quality of life in a community of their choice.

The first year of the program is designed as a foundation with courses covering disability issues, personal development, health and wellness, and literacies. Year two allows students to extend their knowledge and skills in participating in college-level courses and other campus environments. The last two years focus on career-field specialization with courses in independent living, life-long learning competencies, and career development and employment, as well as internships in the community where students apply their learning in jobs of choice.

Career Opportunities

The Career and Community Studies program supports students for a career and employment in an area of the students' strengths and interests. In the first year, students take courses in career exploration and preparation, which assess student interest, past experience and current skills. During sophomore and junior years, students undertake 6-12 hours of practicum experience in work settings throughout campus. Senior year-students have internships off campus in an area of their specific interest. Students may work up to 36 hours a week based on the individual site and student preference. Expected outcomes are gainful employment, either full or part time, in the student's preferred career path. The program has established relationships with government agencies, local business and non-profit organizations.

Admission Requirements

The program is limited to 10-12 students each fall. Students participating in the program experience intellectual and developmental disabilities that may affect some intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. Other qualifications include documentation of past successful work, academic, leadership, and community participation. Also required for admission are a completed application, reference letters, and an in-person interview with the CCS admission committee.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 credit hours and minimum 2.500 major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Become more self-determined persons who are better prepared for independent living and the achievement of career goals.
  2. Gain confidence in critical and independent thinking, and use their own voice and vision in order to be active and informed citizens
  3. Understand basic concepts of the academic disciplines, and apply imagination and creativity as they begin a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of ethical implications of their own actions, and be positive role models who contribute to societal views concerning inclusion, community, and tolerance for diversity.