St. Thomas University offering a unique program for students with disabilities

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – October is National Disabilities Month and according to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2.3 million children in public schools have learning disabilities.

Some of these disabilities range from dyslexia and autism to attention problems.

Once these students have graduated from high school, there are no more options for them when it comes to obtaining graduate studies, and that is why the University of St. Thomas Houston has just launched a unique program that really isn’t offered anywhere else in the country. .

Dr Terra Torres, who is the program chair at UST, told ABC13 that they offer an academic lifeline for students with learning differences, which have hindered their success in a traditional academic setting.

The new Associates in Applied Science in Pragmatic Studies is a 2-year full-time face-to-face program.

“To have a population that so many people fit in, who have no options after high school, it’s crazy,” she said. “How’s it going in 2021 and someone who wants to go to college can’t because they have ADHD or autism or because she has severe dyslexia? to do with anything? “

Torres said these students, who fall through the cracks, are often too successful to enter vocational training programs and are generally not eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

A perfect example is Emily Mannikko, 25, from Reno, Nevada, but who moved to Houston just for the program. She never thought college would be an option for her.

“I had a lot of learning differences and my own personal difficulties in school,” she said. “I honestly think if I hadn’t found this program I would be stuck. It’s something that I never thought was possible for me, so it’s been a whirlwind and a transition and a real moment of buckle for me. “

Admission to the program requires a high school diploma and an up-to-date Complete Individual Psychoeducational Assessment (FIE).

Applicants must pass the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI) to help determine current proficiency level, as this is required for all students entering college in the State of Texas.

Additionally, an interview between faculty / program staff and the student candidate will be required for admission.

For more information, visit the University of St. Thomas website or call Torres at 713-899-0690. The program is awaiting approval by SACSCOC.

To learn more about the UST program, follow Mayra Moreno on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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