MSU’s ACCESS program offers online courses for students with disabilities

Starkville, Miss. (WJTV) – After more than a decade of giving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to experience college while learning valuable career and life skills, the State of Mississippi is expanding its reach with online enrichment courses.

ACCESS Online is now open to any student aged 14 or over, regardless of grade level or disability. The ACCESS Online program, among the first of its kind nationally, offers innovative courses taught through MSU’s online platform, Canvas, with a curriculum that helps students improve their functional skills, increase their independence , develop their college and career readiness and develop their self-advocacy skills.

The ACCESS four-year on-campus residential program was established at MSU in 2010 to provide post-secondary education to students who would otherwise not attend college. It is the only comprehensive post-secondary bridging program in the state and offers students the opportunity for a full and inclusive college experience, with an emphasis on academics, career development, independent living and socialization.

“Our mission is to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to gain gainful employment and live as independently as possible in their communities,” said Stacy Jackson, Academic Coordinator.

Courses are offered in conjunction with MSU’s fall, spring, and summer semesters. Fall and spring courses last 13 weeks, while summer courses last 10 weeks. All classes are self-paced with weekly deadlines and taught by MSU’s certified online ACCESS instructors. Students typically spend three to six hours per week on course content.

Jackson said there are options for full financial sponsorship to cover the cost for eligible Mississippi residents through the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, and self-pay is also accepted.

For more information, contact Jackson at [email protected] or visit www.access.msstate.edu/online-education.

Karen O. Fielding