Oklahoma offers comprehensive Inclusive Post Secondary Education
(IPSE) for students with intellectual and/or developmental
disabilities that want to attend college. These programs provide
support to advance skills in the areas of independent living,
social interaction, academics, and employment. Oklahoma has three
certificate programs for students with intellectual disability that
are designated by the U.S. Department of Education as comprehensive
transition and postsecondary education programs (CTP):
- RiverHawks Scholar Program at Northeastern State
- Sooner Works at the University of Oklahoma
- Opportunity Orange Scholars at Oklahoma State University
Additional information is provided in the Programs section below. The CTP designation
allows students to apply for federal financial aid. (See Financial Aid section below.) In
addition, the Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity at the
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is an inclusive program
for degree-seeking students with autism.
Please refer to the application guidelines for each program for
University RiverHawks Scholar Program
State University RiverHawks Scholar Program is a four year, fully
inclusive certificate program for students with intellectual and/or
developmental disabilities. Students will take two traditional
university classes in areas of interest, with appropriate supports,
in addition to one specialized class each semester. Students will
have trained peer mentors and participate in campus activities of
their choice. Students will be placed in on-campus and off-campus
internships throughout their four years. Upon completion of the
program, these students receive social, career and academic skills
that can lead them to life success.
University of Oklahoma
The University of
Oklahoma's Sooner Works is a comprehensive integrated program for
students with an intellectual or developmental disability who
desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. The program
is a four-year certificate program offering a college experience to
prepare participants for competitive employment and independent
living through a combination of coursework and career exploration.
Students in Sooner Works live on campus and take traditional
university courses in conjunction with courses specific to Sooner
Works. In addition, students will participate in internships and
social organizations on the beautiful University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University
Opportunity Orange Scholars
Scholars is designed for young adults between the ages of 18 and 26
with intellectual disability and do not meet OSU's degree-seeking
admission criteria. Students admitted into the Opportunity Orange
Scholars program can pursue a two-year, non-degree academic
certificate in Career and Community Studies with an option for an
additional two-year, non-degree advanced academic certificate in
Community Living and Engagement. Students will be fully immersed in
the OSU experience, as they live and learn on campus.
University of Science and Arts of
Oklahoma Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity
Center for Neurodiversity will assist students with autism spectrum
disorder (ASD) in the transition to college life and help ensure
postsecondary success. The program focuses on a collaborative model
that promotes the development of self-advocacy and independent
living skills to encourage strong academic and social progress.
Varying levels of academic, social and residential support will aid
students in meeting their personal and professional goals.
Students attending college should submit the FAFSA as soon as it
becomes available each year. The 2024-25 FAFSA will be available
sometime in December 2023. After this year, it will be available
each October 1.
Students enrolled in the programs at NSU, OSU, and OU may
qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental
Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study programs.
Students in these programs may not qualify for student loans.
Students attending the Science and Arts program may qualify for
all federal and state financial aid, including grants, work-study
and student loans.
Visit the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about
federal aid for students enrolled in Comprehensive Transition
Visit the Oklahoma Inclusive Postsecondary Education Alliance's
Paying for College page
to find grant and scholarship resources.
Learn more about applying for and receiving financial aid on the
What to Expect in College
will be different than high school. Some of the support systems
will be different and expectations may be higher. Students and
families can prepare for the changes to ensure a smooth transition!
Check out this resource from the Think College Transition