College/University Programs Specifically for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Louisiana

Louisiana offers seven inclusive higher education programs, which allow students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to enjoy their college experience. Four out of the seven programs are Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTP). CTPs are degree, non-degree, or certificate programs for students with intellectual disabilities. These programs are designed to give students opportunities to grow educationally and socially.

  • Baton Rouge Community College – The Program for Successful Employment
    3520 N. Acadian Thruway E, Baton Rouge, LA 70805 | Phone: (225) 359-9205
    The Program for Successful Employment (PSE) is a two-year vocational training program for adults with autism and/or other cognitive differences. The program combines academic and job skills training with externship opportunities in regional businesses. Each group that starts will stay together as a cohort.

  • Bossier Parish Community College Program for Successful Employment
    6220 E. Texas Street | Bossier City, LA | Phone: (318) 678-6358
    Shelli Ulrich, Director | Email:
    The Program for Successful Employment (PSE) is a division of Workforce Development at BPCC providing flexible and innovative education and training for individuals with significant disabilities or support needs.

  • Nicholls State UniversityBridge to Independence
    P.O. Box 2053 | Thibodaux, LA 70310 | Phone: (985) 448-4341
    Dr. Mary Breaud, Bridge Program Advisor | Email:
    At Nicholls State University, students with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder have the opportunity to enjoy the full college experience while gaining the leadership and social skills needed for future employment and independent living.

  • Southeastern Louisiana UniversityLions Connected
    SLU Box 10671 | Hammond, LA 70402 | Phone: (985) 549-3030
    Dr. Geralinde Beckers, Associate Professor / Lions Connected Director | Email: | Email:
    Location: TEC 214
    Lions Connected courses, combined with college-level courses, are centered around the practice of “learning by doing.” As students in the LC program prepare for a career they love, staff work closely with each student to customize their courses and college experience.

  • LSU Health Human Development CenterPost-Secondary Apprenticeship for Youth 
    (Pay Check)
    New Orleans, LA
    Sue Killam | E-mail:
    Postsecondary Apprenticeship for Youth (PAY Check) is an innovative collaboration between the LSUHSC-Human Development Center (HDC), Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS), public school systems, and employers in the New Orleans metro area. PAY Check is a 3-semester program where students participate in courses at a post-secondary institution, engage in professional career development activities, learning community and work-related skills, and gain employment experience through two 10-week paid internships.

  • University of Louisiana-LafayetteUL Life Program
    P.O. Box 43687 | Lafayette, LA 70504 | Phone: (337) 482-9022
    Caroline N. Jurisich, Director | Email:
    Randolph Hall 221
    The UL LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) Program is a highly personalized program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. By combining academic, social, and career development skills at the college level, young adults with intellectual disabilities can become thriving members of the college community.

  • LSU of Alexandria (LSUA) – Special Program for the Enhancement of Resources and Opportunities for Students with Developmental Disabilities (SPERO)
    Dr. Eamon Halpin, Chair of SPERO Steering Committee | Phone: (318) 767-2603
    LSUA’s SPERO program aims to bring hope to the lives of young people with developmental disabilities—by providing them with the resources and opportunities that will help them lead more independent lives and take up meaningful and rewarding employment in their communities.

  • LSU Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education – Baton Rouge
    LSU Integrative Community Studies Program
    Dr. Willie Louviere, Program Director, Integrative Community Studies | Phone: (225) 578-3462
    LSU Integrative Community Studies Program, known as the LSU Community, is a two-year certificate program designed to provide individuals with moderate disabilities with a life-changing university experience for program residents. Our primary goal is to prepare students for independent living, provide functional academic enrichment, teach and develop workforce readiness skills, build interpersonal communication skills, and promote real-world engagement.

Additional Resources

Disability Affairs Offices
All post-secondary schools should have a disability affairs office to assist students with disabilities be successful in their school setting.  These offices should work in partnership with all the school departments and professors to provide appropriate support and services to students with disabilities.

BLOOM LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP – For Students Affected by Cerebral Palsy
Bloom Legal is proud to offer a $1000 scholarship for students affected by cerebral palsy. In the US, an estimated 764,000 people live with cerebral palsy. Usually occurring in childhood, cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability for children. Attorney Seth Bloom’s uncle was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age. Seth created the Bloom Scholarship in his honor, to help others affected by this disability pursue their goals and education.

Guide to Online Colleges and Disabilities
A website to help guide students in determining which school best meets their needs.

Louisiana College Guidebook for Parents and Students on Higher Education and Disability
This guide was written for students with disabilities who are interesting in attending post-secondary institutions.
Source:  Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans and MO AHEAD

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS)
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) assists persons with disabilities in their desire to obtain or maintain employment and/or achieve independence in their communities by providing rehabilitation services and working cooperatively with businesses and other community resources.

Making My Way Through College
Making My Way through College is a guide for any student pursuing a degree or other type of credential (e.g., certification, license) at a two-year or four-year community college, college, or university. You will find information on a variety of topics relevant to preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Much of the information provided is relevant to all students, but the primary focus of the guide is on navigating the college experience for students with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability.
Source:  National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, 2015

Paying for College for Students with Disabilities
If you have an intellectual disability, you may receive funding from the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study programs.

Federal Financial Aid for Students with Intellectual Disability
Provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), passed in 2008, make it possible for students with intellectual disability (ID) who demonstrate financial need to take advantage of some kinds of federal financial aid to help pay for college. The HEOA describes a new type of college program, called a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) that is specifically for students with ID. Students with ID attending approved CTP are not required to have earned a standard high school diploma or be accepted into a degree program. With these provisions, if a student with an intellectual disability is attending an approved Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP), they can apply for financial aid to help pay for the cost of attendance at that program, even if they do not meet these two requirements.

Technology Resources: For College Students with Disabilities
This guide provides a quick overview of the different common disabilities some college students have and the different resources and technologies available to them. It is truly incredible how many different applications and software programs are out there made just to help students get by in school even with their disabilities. That said, attending college can be very positive and life-changing experience!

Testing Accommodations for Post-Secondary School
This resource provides technical assistance on testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities who take standardized exams and other high-stakes tests. It addresses the obligations of testing entities, including private, state, or local government entities that offer exams related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary (high school), postsecondary (college and graduate school), professional (law, medicine, etc.), or trade (cosmetology, electrician, etc.) purposes to provide testing accommodations, what types of accommodations must be provided, and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations are also discussed.
Source:  U.S. Department of Justice, June 2016 is a website filled with information about college for students with intellectual disabilities.

updated 3/18/2024