Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

For High School Educators

"Honestly, I cannot believe how much he grew up in one short year… and how much he learned there!  This experience opened my eyes to different and better futures that are possible for my students.  I am so excited to have this option available for my students when they have learned all they can in our high school building."

--High School Special Education Teacher | Read more

High school graduates earning a diploma often have many post-secondary options available in their future:  college, trade schools, careers, military service to name a few.  Students with intellectual disabilities who earn a Certificate of Completion (COC) are often denied those options.  As a result, high school staff, students, and families may feel a sense of futility, maybe even failure, believing that without a high school diploma, the future is bleak with limited choices:  no career options, no post-secondary education opportunities and perhaps only a traditional adult program for people with disabilities.  Without realizing it this becomes self-perpetuating, resulting in educators having a very limited vision for what is possible in these students’ futures.      

High school is a unique environment with tight structure, rules, and organization which serves to manage a large number of teenagers in one location while providing them with the final years of their public education.  Many students with intellectual disabilities are in high school for more than 4 years because they are eligible to receive special education services until “aging out” at 22.  Some stay in high school for as many as 9 years.  Yet education within a high school is not conducive to teaching young adults with intellectual disabilities how to function when it is over.  Students conform to the environment and its expectations – effective transition education requires changing the environment.  IUPUI -SITE is an option to provide the final year(s) of public education out of the high school building in the adult-oriented environment of a college campus.

IUPUI - SITE offers students with intellectual disabilities who earn a COC from area high schools the chance to experience college campus life and all it has to offer – classes, social life, new friendships, recreational activities, career preparation, self-reliance, and overall personal growth. SITE students are enrolled in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and educational funds pay for transition education and services provided by IPS on the IUPUI campus and city of Indianapolis.

Interested?  Contact us!  Students who apply must:

  • have an IEP,
  • be working toward a Certification of Completion,
  • be 18 - 21 years old, and
  • agree to enroll in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) upon acceptance into the SITE Program.