Wolverines Elevated, a program focused on assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities by getting them a higher education and helping them enter the workforce, has begun its beginning phase and program director Morgan Jacobs is confident that it will continue after its trial period.
“UVU is really the place for a program such as this,” said Jacobs. “We’ve just been so impressed by the natural support that is available here on campus.”
In October of 2020, UVU accepted a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the creation of the Wolverines Elevated program. The grant provided the program five years, a trial period, and the goal is for the program to be able to sustain itself, scheduled to start during the fall 2021 semester. The goal of this program is to help individuals with intellectual disabilities, receive higher education and enter the workforce.
“I think it’ll make all of our students just better people by having those with disabilities in their classes,” said Kaitlyn Belliston, a business management major at UVU.
Currently, there are four students in the program, all of them taking in-person classes. Through the program, they’re able to take courses that relate to the professional careers they wish to pursue. Peer mentors are also part of the program, assisting students in areas that others may take for granted.
“I think it has a bigger impact on the portion of the population that doesn’t have that kind of access,” said Cammee Parkin, an ASL interpreting major at UVU. “It’s really nice to know that they have the same opportunities that everybody else does.”
A similar program offered at Utah State University called “Aggies Elevated” was launched, “as a donor-supported program in August 2014,” said the Aggie Elevated information site. This program has passed their trial period and Aggies Elevated has become a permanent resource for USU students.
Jacobs encourages students who are interested in the program to apply, adding, “It’s a competitive process so we encourage folks to take a look and see what all the qualifications are.”
More information regarding the program and application process can be found on the Wolverines Elevated page.