Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program


ASTEP Meet and Greet


Through the Scholarship Committee, the Bismarck-Mandan Mayors Committee solicits and awards scholarships to persons with disabilities pursuing post-secondary education, which also includes vocational training. The committee will be awarding up to six scholarships in the amount of $500.00 to students in the Bismarck-Mandan area this year.

(view flyer with more information - pdf)

2016 Application Form (pdf)




The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a Center of Excellence at Minot State University, has been awarded a $289,518 grant from the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Post-Secondary Education under the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) to support the Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP). These federal TPSID grants provide 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. ASTEP will help young adults with intellectual disabilities, living in rural communities, transition into post-secondary education, resulting in improved employment opportunities and greater life skills and self-determination.


“Today’s grant will support better outcomes for our state’s youth who live with intellectual disabilities and help them to have a higher quality of life and more independence,” Senator John Hoeven said.


Amy Armstrong, project director, indicated the new grant will build on the previous ASTEP program, funded from 2010-2015 at MSU.


“This new funding will enable the ASTEP program to build on and enhance program services, coordination, recruitment and program sustainability,” Armstrong said. “ASTEP will provide a robust post-secondary education program that is responsive to the needs of youth with ID living in North Dakota’s rural communities and in the Great Plains region.”


ASTEP will comprise inclusive college course work, career development, self-determination, independent living and pre-employment skills training and campus inclusion. NDCPD anticipates the grant will be funded for a total of five years with a cumulative budget of approximately $1.5 million through the year 2020.


ASTEP is currently accepting applications for the fall 2016 school year. For questions, contact Armstrong at or 800-233-1737.





ASTEP 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


Kyle's Experience with ASTEP Program















2015 - 2016 ASTEP Calendar (pdf - 62kb)





for young people with





Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program

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.

Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program

500 University Ave W  Minot, ND 58707     (800) 233-1737