2016-2017 Catalog

Accessible College Experience

Purpose of the Program

The WPCC ACE (Accessible College Experience) program is designed to provide a two-year, inclusive learning experience for college-age persons with intellectual disabilities.  The program is limited to two new participants per year, with a maximum enrollment of four participants.  During the two year period, participants are intended to complete requirements for receiving a Recognition of Collegiate Achievement based on the successful completion of an Individual Plan for College Participation.


Participant Status

ACE Participants must apply for admission to the ACE program by May 1st prior to the academic year they are seeking enrollment.  Consideration of applicants will be based on the admission criteria presented below.  Admitted applicants will be referred to as "ACE Participants" and will be allowed to participate in the two-year ACE Recognition of Collegiate Achievement Program.


ACE Participants will not be eligible for an undergraduate degree, certificate, or diploma from Western Piedmont Community College and will not be eligible to earn college credit.  They will be permitted to audit individual courses as part of their ACE program and will be required to pay appropriate tuition and fees for these courses as well as purchase required class materials and books.


Admission Criteria

Potential participants must apply for admission to the ACE Program through the Office of Disability Services.  Consideration for admission to the ACE Program will be given to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Are residents of Burke County, North Carolina.
  • Are within the typical age range of college students.
  • Have been enrolled in a high school special education program that does not lead to completion of a regular high school diploma.
  • Demonstrate adequate communication skills to interact with others on the WPPC campus.
  • Demonstrate socially acceptable behavior that will allow a favorable experience on the WPCC campus.
  • Be adequately motivated to learn and benefit from their participation in the ACE Program.
  • Have an expressed interest in living and working as independently as possible in their community after completing the ACE program and supported by parents and families to do so.


Application packages should include a resume, a video expressing interest, and letters of recommendation from teachers, other professionals and community members who are knowledgeable about the individual and who can evaluate the potential of the individual to successfully participate in the program.  Other material that supports the individual's application, such as completed products, honors, or commendations may also be submitted.


All applicants to the ACE Program will be reviewed by the ACE co-directors, which include Daphne Martin, Disability Services Coordinator, and Cindy Konarski, Therapeutic Recreation Program Coordinator.