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Becoming a Comprehensive Transition Program

Comprehensive Transition Programs ( CTP) were initially described and defined by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. Comprehensive Transition Programs are degree, certificate, or non-degree programs  for students with intellectual disabilities that:

  • Are offered by a college or career school and approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Are designed to support students with intellectual disabilities who want to continue academic, career, and independent living instruction to prepare for gainful employment;
  • Offers academic advising and a structured curriculum; and
  • Requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate, for at least half of the program, in:
    • Regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses with nondisabled students,
    • Auditing or participating (with nondisabled students) in courses for which the student does not receive regular academic credit,
    • Enrollment in noncredit-bearing, non-degree courses with nondisabled students, or
    • Internships or work-based training with nondisabled individuals.

If students with intellectual disabilities are attending a CTP, they are able to use federal financial aid to help pay the cost of attendance.

Use the Think College Learn module on Comprehensive Transition Programs to find information and resources to assist in completing the application.  The module features a number of resources, including examples of completed applications, information to provide to financial aid offices, an interactive checklist and a template that can be used to complete the narrative portion of  the Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary Program (CTP) application. 

Additional Resources (please visit the module for many more resources on this topic)

Guidance from US Department of Education on Applying to become a Comprehensive Transition Program

Letter to Accrediting Agency Executive Directors from the US Department of Education regarding Comprehensive Transition Programs