• 2nd: Inclusive Post-Secondary Education program in Texas
  • 10-12 Students per Cohort (per year)
  • Seeking: $100,000+ in donations to support students with scholarships
  • Self-Sustaining: Designed to be self-sustaining by 2025

Program Activities

  • UNT courses for zero-credit (non-degree seeking) focusing on career interests
  • Inclusive internships on campus & community focusing on competitive employment
  • Participation in traditional college activities with UNT students
  • UNT ELEVAR Classes: designed for their needs (life skills, financial literacy, career planning, health & wellness)

A student walks past the fount in the library mall on the UNT Campus.

Need & Impact

UNT ELEVAR is part of an international trend of post- secondary education for young adults with intellectual/ developmental disabilities. It addresses a significant social problem: inclusive education is widely available for children with disabilities in PK-12 level, but there are few educational opportunities after high school.

UNT ELEVAR not only provides these opportunities for an underrepresented population, but it supports them in pursuing a career of their choice building on skills necessary to pursue a competitive job, live independently, and continue to be part of a larger, inclusive community.

It also provides a larger impact to the students, faculty, and staff at UNT and the surrounding communities in broadening their perceptions through inclusive experiences.

Finally, partnerships with on- campus and local organizations, school districts, and employers, extend on the importance of diversity in the workforce.

University of North Texas students walk between classes near the eagle statue.

Program Description

UNT ELEVAR (Empower, Learn, Excel, enVision, Advance, Rise) is a four-year inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). Following the definition of the program’s name, ELEVAR [lift, soar, rise, in Spanish], the program’s vision is to empower young adults with ID who wish to continue postsecondary education (PSE) to become self-determined, independent, and healthy adults readied for integrated competitive employment. Most importantly, the UNT ELEVAR program welcomes young adults with ID to be part of the Mean Green family experience. UNT ELEVAR has been approved as a Comprehensive Transition Program through the U.S. Department of Education accreditation. For more information about the UNT ELEVAR program, please contact us at elevar@unt.edu or 940-369-8563.

Admissions Information

The UNT ELEVAR program is designed to serve young adults with intellectual disabilities of at least 18 years of age, has completed high school with or without a high school diploma, and who received services through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), been served by IDEA, or completed an alternate assessment portfolio.  The application is now closed but will open again December 1, 2022 for the 2023-2024 cohort. For more information, visit our Admission Information page.

Family Resources and Information Sessions

Students walk past the new UNT Welcome center photographed on Aug. 1, 2019.To learn more about the UNT ELEVAR program please watch our recorded Information Session at the bottom of our Admissions page.  In this recorded webinar, we share more about the program, admission process, housing, and all other components of our inclusive post-secondary education program. If you are planning on applying but have additional questions, please check our Open House dates and register to attend one! You are also welcome to email us at elevar@unt.edu

RESOURCES: Middle school and High school students interested in pursuing and experiencing a college career can prepare early on! Here is a great website from our Think College partners: Click Here

Supporting the UNT ELEVAR Program

Spreading the word about the inclusive options and possibilities for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities is a great way to support the program. Your gift will empower students with intellectual disabilities to become more independent and prepared for competitive employment. To give, please visit our official GIVING page. 

For more information about donating to the future UNT ELEVAR program, please contact us at elevar@unt.edu