For the past eight years, students on Concordia’s Mequon campus have embraced a learner population unique to higher education: those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Now, efforts are underway to do the same on the Ann Arbor campus. Earlier this year Concordia University Ann Arbor announced a partnership with AbleLight (formerly Bethesda Lutheran Communities) and shared plans to open AbleLight College at CUAA in fall 2022.

Angela Post, MA, BCBA, LBA, began her role as director of admissions in January. The Ypsilanti native has experience working with diverse ages and abilities, but is especially thrilled to join the Concordia campus for this new endeavor.

“The opportunity to bridge my faith with my passion for working with young adults and their families is a dream come true,” said Post. “I am excited to see lives changed.”

Students who enroll at AbleLight participate in a modified curriculum that focuses on developing life and job skills beyond graduation. Enrollees have the opportunity to live on campus and enjoy the perks of a typical college experience. At the end of the two- year program, participants graduate with a Certificate of Applied Learning, and cross the commencement stage alongside CUAA’s traditional undergraduate and graduate populations.

Employees of AbleLight forge connections with area employers to create job-shadow and employment opportunities. Since its launch, the Mequon-based AbleLight College has seen nearly 40 students complete the program who have secured jobs in day care; restaurant, hospital, and office settings; maintenance; and travel agency support.

“The students of AbleLight College have goals and big dreams just like all college students,” said Kristine Leonard, director of AbleLight College at CUW. “They just need a little extra help achieving them. Through our program, with the encouragement of our dedicated staff and with the full support of Concordia University, we are able to help these dreams become reality.”

Learn more by contacting Angela Post at 734-995-7274.

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