COLLEGE STATION (1080 KRLD) - Texas A&M welcomes a first of it's kind class next anywhere in Texas this fall. It's a four year, residential program for students who are developmentally and intellectually disabled.
Dr. Carly Gilson is the founding faculty director of Aggie Achieve, which stands for Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences.
She says five students are enrolled in this pilot group and after four years each will recieve a certificate. She says it tells future employers "they've enrolled in rigerous coursework. They've had relevant internship and vocational experiences. They've been working on their social skills and all of that is preparation for independent living,
Classes this fall include educational psychology, education, theater history, education, chemistry and entomology, physical education and more.
She says "This program is all about opening doors and expanding access to a new population that historically has been living in the shadows of higher education and has not been afforded opportunites to persue education after they've completed high school."
They are not taking any more applications for this fall, but will post information about admissions for fall 2020. She says they need to keep the program small to maintain an individualized approach to each student."
"When we're running at capacity, the vision is we will have 10 to 12 students accepted each year."
She adds this group will also be involved in Aggie life, such as going to football games and midnight yell practice.