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ACES Transition and Postsecondary Program

ULM's Academics, Career, Engagement, and Support (ACES) program is a comprehensive transition and postsecondary education experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities. ACES provides its students with an inclusive college experience, including courses designed to prepare participants for the workforce.

The mission for ACES is to support inclusiveness and provide opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to develop social, functional, and career readiness skills. In Fall 2024, ULM will accept five students for its first ACES cohort. The first step to applying to ACES is to complete a pre-application interest form. Click here for the complete application process.

Interest forms for Fall 24 are now closed.



Who qualifies for ACES?

The ACES Program is a vocational training program designed for adults with intellectual disabilities. To be eligible to join an ACES cohort, the applicant:

  1. must have a documented Intellectual Disability, either primary or secondary.
  2. must be between the ages of 18 and 23.
  3. should be able to sit through 90-minute courses.
  4. should be comfortable around large groups of people.
  5. must have a history of good behavior in school.
  6. must be independent in handling medication and dietary needs.
  7. must be self-motivated and adhere to all ULM policies.
  8. have access to technology.
  9. must have transportation to and from the ULM campus.
  10. must participate in an interview with the program coordinator and have potential for achieving student-centered goals based upon interview and review of records.

What is the curriculum of ACES?

ACES is a uniquely designed program that features non-credit University seminars and audited cross-disciplinary courses. University seminars are led by Dr. Jeremy Bell, who leads the ACES program. These seminars will teach students career readiness skills. Audited cross-disciplinary courses give students the opportunity to participate in various ULM classes led by ULM faculty with other ULM students. ACES students will earn a "complete" or "incomplete" on their transcript.

Students of the program will use Project Discovery along with ULM courses to develop skills needed to transition from High School to College. The program will act as a bridge from the completion of High School to Career. Students will have opportunities to receive real-world job skills training, earn micro-credentials, health benefits from the school of allied health, and experience university life. The goal is to prepare for a lifelong career and provide support for social engagement while building self-determination skills.

Over 2.5 years, students will take 42 hours of classwork:

  • Year 1 Fall Semester: 1 course (3 hours) of University seminar and 2 courses (6 hours) of audited classes
  • Year 1 Spring Semester: 1 course (3 hours) of University seminar and 2 courses (6 hours) of audited classes
  • Year 1 Summer Semester: 1 summer internship (3 hours)
  • Year 2 Fall Semester: 1 course (3 hours) of University seminar and 2 courses (6 hours) of audited classes
  • Year 2 Spring Semester: 1 course (3 hours) of University seminar and 2 courses (6 hours) of audited classes
  • Year 3 Fall Semester: 1 fall internship (3 hours)

How do students apply for ACES?

The ACES program is currently accepting applicants for its Fall 2024 cohort. The application is a multi-step process:

  1. Students must complete a pre-application interest form. 
  2. The ACES admissions committee reviews pre-application interest forms. The committee selects students to be invited to complete a formal application and schedule an interview. The formal application must include the following documents:
    1. State ID or DL
    2. IEP/Evaluation Documents (documentation of intellectual disability)
    3. High School Exit Document (Diploma/Certificate of Achievement/HISET/GED)
    4. Unofficial transcript
  3. After a formal application is submitted and a student completes an interview, the ACES admissions committee will select its cohort.

I have questions about ACES. Who do I contact?

You may contact Dr. Jeremy Bell at or 318-342-1272.

About ACES


ULM ACES is managed by the ULM School of Education and supported by Louisiana Alliance of post-secondary Inclusive Education (LAPIE).

Higher Education Opportunity Act

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA, 2008) identified a set of required components necessary for institutions of higher education to develop Comprehensive Transition and post-secondary (CTP) programs for students with intellectual disabilities. The components are listed below:

  1. Academics – Identify feasible college course access using the principles of UDL or Universal Design for Learning.
  2. Career Development – Provide opportunities for internships and employment with job support.
  3. Self-Determined Life Skills – Campus services, seminars, residential life, and/or disability/counseling services.
  4. Social Engagement – Identify campus activities, clubs, and other interest areas for students to participate.

LAPIE logo

About the ULM School of Education

The ULM School of Education prepares future educators for a fulfilling and beneficial career. Our undergraduate programs include Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Teaching with concnetrations in biology, chemistry, English, French, social studies, and Spanish. Our Master of Arts in Teaching include concentrations in Elementary Education and Secondary Education. Our Master of Education programs include Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Educational Technology Leadership. We also offer a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates for Elementary Education and Secondary Education.

For more information on the ULM School of Education, click here.