The Adult Student Transition Education Program, more commonly known as A-STEP, began at Minot State University in 2010 through a federal grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) program provides colleges and universities federal grant funding and technical assistance enabling them to create or expand high quality, inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities. A-STEP is an inclusive college program at Minot State University for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). A-STEP focuses on the development of students’ academic skills in their areas of interest, career skills and paid community employment, social skills, independent living skills and self-determination. A-STEP program addresses the development of:


• Academic skills in the individual student’s area of interest;

• Meaningful employment through career development and integrated work experiences;

• Independent living and self-advocacy skills; and

• Social relationships and recreation/leisure skills


The National Down Syndrome Society would like to inform you of an exciting scholarship opportunity. The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs.


Read more here: http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Education/College--Postsecondary-Options1/ONeill-Tabani-Enrichment-Fund/

The deadline for the scholarship is April 1st.


Update Regarding A-STEP Sustainability

Feb 2015

A-STEP (Adult Student Transition Education Program) at Minot State University continues efforts to build sustainability for the program beyond the current federal grant which ends September 30, 2015.

  • Funding for A-STEP was not included as part of the Governor’s proposed budget which is currently being reviewed by the ND Legislature. There is currently no bill in the legislature that includes A-STEP.
  • Currently no new Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) federal grant dollars from the U.S. Dept. of Education are available for already existing programs like A-STEP.
  • A-STEP’s application to become a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) to qualify for the use of Federal Student Aid is in draft form until we know more about future funding. See more about this process here: http://www.thinkcollege.net/topics/becoming-a-comprehensive-transition-program .
  • A-STEP is looking into some other funding possibilities and grants and I will update you when we know more.
  • Currently students who attend A-STEP pay approximately $2400/year for tuition to audit classes, student fees and books. Students who choose to live on campus pay an additional $5300 for room and board. The bulk of the federal grant dollars cover the costs of staff coordination, student supports and mentoring costs. Annually the A-STEP budget is approximately $300,000.
  • A-STEP has requested a No Cost Extension, which is a request to use unspent A-STEP federal grant dollars for a 6th year. While the amount of money in this request is minimal; the plan, if approved, is to use these funds to offer the current students a 2nd year (2015-2016) in the program. Unless additional funding is secured, supports would be streamlined for these students and no new students would be able to participate in the program.
  • Project staff continue to meet with students and families interested in A-STEP. We are accepting program applications, however they are dependent on continued funding. Please contact me if you are interested in A-STEP, as demand for the program will show the need for continued funding!


Each year A-STEP and similar programs around the country submit information to show the participation and outcomes for students attending their programs. The Profile of Students in TPSID Programs developed by Think College, shares information about these programs. The goal of A-STEP and other TPSID programs is to help students become more independent, self-determined and gain skills to be successfully employed in their communities. According to the summary, from 2012-2013, 70% of TPSID students across the county were employed and/or participating in other career development activities while attending TPSID programs.


In the resource Financing Higher Education for Students with ID, Think College explains possible funding ideas for programs like A-STEP or more details may be found on the Think College website under the topic of Paying For College.


How can you help?

Share your support of A-STEP with local legislators and agency staff such as: ND Vocational Rehabilitation, ND Dept. of Human Services - Development Disabilities Division and the ND Dept. of Public Instruction.

Contact A-STEP to learn more and request a program application.


For more information please contact A-STEP project director at 800-233-1737 or 701-858-3578; or visit the Think College website at www.thinkcollege.net.





for young people with





Adult Student Transition Education Program

Special Olympics at Bottineau Winter Park 2015 - Bottineau, ND
courtesy of KXMC news Minot, ND


ReThinking College Trailer

"ReThinking College: The Film"

A 25 minute film produced by ThinkCollege that explores the growing national movement to include students with intellectual disabilities in higher education.

Adult Student Transition Program  500 University Ave W  Minot, ND 58707     (800) 233-1737