Academic success is not always defined by a grade on a transcript. For Aggies Elevated students, success is measured more by the attempt than by the outcome. Attending study groups, putting forth their best effort, utilizing available supports—and sometimes failing—all are important lessons for our students as they become lifelong learners.
First-year students attend many classes and study groups together, as many first-year courses are foundational to their success. The schedules of second-year students are much more varied as they enroll in career and personal growth electives, and also have to navigate internships.
Aggies Elevated students attend classes alongside their typical peers all across campus and in some community venues. Classes may be taken for Credit, Audit, or Pass/Fail, as arranged with our Support Coordinator and each course instructor. Accommodations are arranged through the USU Disability Resource Center.
Academic supports include a mandatory study group for each class in which a student is enrolled. Study groups are staffed by volunteer tutors, who are available to read, scribe, brainstorm, and direct students to resources. Individual tutoring is also available.
Examples of courses that our students have taken for credit include: USU 1010 University Connections; USU 1730 Strategies for Academic Success; HEP 2500 Health & Wellness; FCHD 3350 Family Finance; CMST 1020 Public Speaking; ENGL 1010 Introduction to Writing; Art 1010 Exploring Art; ID 1750 Design in Everyday Life; LAEP 1030 Introduction to Landscape Architechture; THEA 1023 Introduction to Film; CMST 2110 Interpersonal Communication; FCHD 1500 Human Development Across the Lifespan; REH 1010 Disability and Society; NDFS 1020 Science and Application of Human Nutrition; TEE 2230 Materials and Processing Systems; BUSN 1310 Introduction to Business Management; CJ 1300 Introduction to Corrections; PRP 1000 Introduction to Recreation Services; PE 1543 Wilderness First Aid; SW 1010 Introduction to Social Welfare; and ELED 1010 Orientation to Elementary Education, PHIL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy, ANTH 1010 Cultural Anthropology, PHYS 1200 Introduction to Physics by Hands-on Exploration. The list grows every semester, as incoming students explore their options and interests.
Accreditation & Credential
Think College has published accreditation standards for inclusive post-secondary education programs, but an accrediting body has not yet been established. Aggies Elevated will particpate in the accreditation pilot process in 2022.
The Aggies Elevated certificate of Integrated College and Community Studies, and its curriculum, were approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in 2016 and are included under the accreditation of Utah State University.
For some Aggie Elevated students, this two-year program may be their only college experience. For others, it is merely a starting point, a place to gain the skills necessary to go on to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. For all students, however, it is a bridge between high school and a meaningful career.
Coursework leading to the certificate includes foundation classes in reading and writing, career exploration, navigating adulthood, self-determination, and a wide variety of personal and vocational electives from the University’s general education catalog. All coursework is credit-bearing, unless a student chooses to audit.
During the second semester, students identify their strengths, their Big Goals, the steps necessary to reach them, and potential supports in five domains: Lifelong Learning, Independent Living, Community Involvement, Self-Advocacy, and Career Development. Each student creates a Powerpoint and presents his or her plan for the future in a student-run meeting with family members and invited stakeholders. Students update their plans in each subsequent semester, culminating in an Exit MyCLIMB presentation.