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ULM creates ACES program to educate students with intellectual disabilities

Published March 4, 2024


MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe is proud to announce the creation of the Academics, Career, Engagement, and Support (ACES) Transition and Postsecondary Program, 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 ACES program is now accepting pre-application interest forms and will accept five students for its first cohort in Fall 2024. The mission for ACES is to support inclusiveness and provide opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to develop social, functional, and career readiness skills. Interested students can fill out a pre-application interest form at www.ulm.edu/aces 

The ACES program is led by ULM Asst. Professor of Education Dr. Jeremy Bell.Currently, there are successful Comprehensive Transition Programs in South Louisiana, however this will be the first program of its kind in Northeast Louisiana,” said Bell. “We look forward to welcoming these new students to the ULM campus this Fall,” he added.    

ACES is a uniquely designed program that features non-credit University seminars and audited cross-disciplinary courses. 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.  

The program will act as a bridge from the completion of high school to career. The goal is to prepare students for a lifelong career and provide support for social engagement while building self-determination skills.  

ULM ACES is managed by the ULM School of Education and supported by the Louisiana Alliance of Post-secondary Inclusive Education (LAPIE). The Higher Education Opportunity Act identified a set of required components necessary for institutions of higher education to develop Comprehensive Transition and Post-secondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities. These components include academics, career development, self-determined life skills, and social engagement.  

The application for the ULM ACES program is a multi-step process. The first step is completing a pre-application interest form. The form, as well as the rest of the application requirements, can be found at www.ulm.edu/aces 

Anyone with questions about the ULM ACES Program can contact Dr. Jeremy Bell at jebell@ulm.edu or (318) 342-1272.