Augie Access Program

Why Augie Access?

Augustana University provides opportunities for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program designed to increase career employment, social, academic and independent living outcomes.

  • Following a person-centered course of study, students will obtain a certificate in career studies and multiple pre-employment transition strategies.
  • This is the only post-secondary comprehensive transition program in South Dakota.

Augie Access students at graduation

Augie Access Program at AU

Plan of Study


Augustana University




Latest News

Dr. Michael Amolins ‘07 has made a wealth of Augustana connections in his life. He always remembers where it all started and why he stays connected.

Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. For the month of July — Disability Pride Month — Augustana is featuring Darian Falon ‘25, a student in the Augie Access Program.

The Augustana University Augie Access Program will offer its first summer experience camp for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from June 14-16. 



Augie Access Program tours and information sessions for families and students are held from 3:30-5 p.m. Tours begin in the Madsen Center Room #220.

Augie Access Program Tours
*Please select your desired date to attend.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Ages 18-26 (must start prior to turning 27)
  • Primary goal of attending a post-secondary education program must be an employment outcome
  • Students must have a documented diagnosis of an intellectual/developmental disability
  • Ability to fund tuition and fees (approximately $14,000 per year), housing and books/supplies — 2024-25 Fees Listed Below
  • Access to and from Augustana's campus to attend classes and other activities
  • Demonstrated ability to participate appropriately in a classroom or professional setting
  • IDEA-eligible, formerly IDEA-eligible or entitled to support through other disability services such as VR or DD
  • A completed Access to Opportunity/Pathway to Success Admission Project
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for federal financial aid

Application Process  

Augie Access Program applications are being accepted for Fall 2025 enrollment and due by Dec. 6. The Admission Committee will notify applicants when the interview process will begin, and letters informing applicants of the decision will be mailed out approximately two weeks following interviews.

A completed application includes:

  • Application form
  • High school transcript
  • Current IEP
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current evaluation documenting disability
  • Transcripts of all previous college work (if applicable)
  • Completed vocational rehabilitation application/intake meeting documentation
  • The Access to Opportunity/Pathway to Success Admission Project does not need to be sent in with the application — it is to be presented during the interview process.


    augie access students at graduation

    Program Design

    The Augie Access Program supports students using an intentional design, which includes:

    • Admission of a minimum of six new students each year
    • Providing access to catalog courses with credit, non-credit or auditing options
    • Utilizing a person-centered planning process 
    • Creating appropriate support for students in classroom settings
    • Assisting students in locating appropriate residential options
    • Developing peer-support networks (Peer Navigators)
    • Producing on- and off-campus work opportunities and internships, including job coaching services

    Augie Access collaborates with Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Department of Labor and Regulation, Disability Employment Initiative, Department of Education and Division of Developmental Disabilities and other agencies.


    By the end of this program, students will demonstrate soft and/or hard skills required to obtain and maintain paid, competitive employment. With a certificate in career studies, Augustana gives students in this program support for finding employment that suits their interests.

    Hands-On Learning  

    All Augie Access students experience employment internships, which are based on preference, strengths and interests.

    Students in this program also work toward independent living. They develop and achieve personal goals surrounding the life domains of daily living, employment, community living, safety, security, healthy living, social and spirituality, as well as citizenship and advocacy.

    Courses & Organizations

    The Augie Access Program uses research-based self-determination/self-advocacy strategies to develop and achieve personal learning goals.

    Augie Access students study:

    • Inclusive courses from the Augustana University course catalog — chosen based on student interest, strengths and desired career goals 
    • Specially designed courses with a transitional focus, such as Employment Attainment, Skills for Social Skills, Consumer Math or Leadership

    Augie Access students often participate in campus activities based on their own preferences, where they apply interpersonal and social competence skills by engaging as an active participant on a regular basis.