We build pathways to friendship, self-confidence, and achievement
Pathway at UCLA Extension is a two-year college program for students who identify as neurodiverse, offering a blend of educational, social, and vocational experiences. On campus, Pathway students attend classes and participate in the many social, recreational and cultural activities of a major university.
Living away from home while attending a college program is an important way to learn skills for independent living, and we recommend that all students take advantage of our residential option. However, students may also commute to Pathway as either full-time or part-time students.
Students who successfully complete the program receive an award of completion in Learning and Life Skills and are invited to attend the annual UCLA Extension graduation ceremony at the historic Royce Hall.
Schedule a virtual tour
To ensure that Pathway is the right fit for you, we invite you and your family to learn more about Pathway at UCLA Extension.
A virtual tour includes a presentation of the program’s academics, residential life, internships, and independent living support.
Virtual tour dates and time (Pacific Standard Time)
- Thursday, January 18, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Zoom Webinar
- Saturday, January 20, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: In-Person Tour
- Tuesday, February 6, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: In-Person Tour
- Friday, February 16, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Zoom Webinar
- Thursday, February 22, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: Zoom Webinar
- Saturday, February 24, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: In-Person Tour
At Pathway, our students receive the benefits of a UCLA college experience.
Pathway uses a “learn by doing” approach, and the program features a curriculum of core courses, audit courses on UCLA’s main campus, UCLA Extension courses, and internships for our students to choose from. Life skills instruction takes place in the residential setting, as well as in the community.
- Enhance their academic skills to set the foundation for lifelong learning
- Identify career goals and participate in activities that support future employment
- Achieve more independence and participation in community activities
- Increase social skills by developing personal and work relationships
- Practice self-advocacy and self-determination in academic and daily living
- Assess one's own needs and engage in a healthy lifestyle
- Pursue self-enrichment activities that match personal goals
I was expecting to learn to be independent, and to live on my own. It was about stepping up to the plate and being responsible. I’m proud of myself for doing all those things.
Internships at Pathway promote positive, real employment experiences for our students to prepare them for the real world.
Our students are required to complete 100 hours during their two years, and are encouraged to try out a new internship each quarter. We work hard to match our students with internships that not only interest and excite them, but that will ultimately help them reach their goals once they graduate from the program.
Past student internships have included:
Pathway opened various doors to internships through the contacts that they knew. These internships helped me grow, develop, and evolve. I can now go into the working world and become a real contributor.
While participating in Pathway, students receive life skills instruction from our partner, Level Up Solutions, a California regional center vendor. An independent living skills assessment will determine the scope and frequency of personalized instruction to accommodate each students’ needs. Staff work with students to develop essential living skills to prepare them to live in the least restrictive, most inclusive and safe environment possible. Services are provided in the student apartments, on campus, and throughout the community.
Educational Coach Support
As a part the college experience, Pathway students are paired with a UCLA undergraduate who provides academic support and peer mentorship. We consider this to be one of the highlights of the Pathway program, as it enables further inclusion on UCLA's campus for our students.
Eligible students will meet the following criteria:
- 18 to 25 years old when starting Pathway
- Ready to live independently
- Have completed high school with a diploma, certificate of completion, or equivalent
- Be able to safely get around campus independently after initial orientation
- Be able to actively participate in completing the Pathway application and interview process
- Have basic safety skills in unsupervised settings
- Have family support and a personal desire to be successful in all aspects of Pathway
- Have academic, vocational, and social experiences that contribute to success in Pathway
- Meet eligibility criteria for Regional Center services or have the ability to purchase services privately