P2I—Path to Independence

If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact Riley Fitzgerald at 775-682-9074

Path to Independence

The Path To Independence (formerly Think College) is:

  • An inclusive, two-year, non-degree certificate program offering a college experience to students with intellectual disabilities.
  • A collaborative effort of UNR's Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED), the University of Nevada Reno Extended Studies Department, (UNR), Sierra Regional Center (SRC), the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living (NNCIL), and the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR). 

Student in Wheelchair taking a picture

Each student and their invited guests participate in Person Centered Planning (PCP) each semester.  The results of the plan determines the level and direction of academic involvement.  The STAR (Students Transitioning to Adult Roles) planning process is used, which includes the areas of Academic Enrichment, Independent Living, Self-Determination, Campus & Community Engagement, and Career Development & Employment.

In order to achieve outcomes of employment and independence, the project is structured into three areas:

  1. Academics & Campus Activities: P2I students take UNR college classes with typical peers. Classroom supports for students in this program are individualized based on need and come from a variety of resources, including SRC. Students have an educational coach assisting them in class, if needed. In addition, students in the Developmental Disabilities Minor program have the opportunity to earn three credits in an independent study class as tutors for Path to Independent students. Daily study sessions are offered for P2I students to get assistance with reading assignments and homework. In preparation for living a full, productive life, students are encouraged to participate in campus activities such as clubs/organizations and sports activities. Mentors assist them to become active members of the university community.
  2. Employment: Each revisit their employment goals and works closely with the jog developer from Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living
  3. Independent Living: An important aspect of college life for all students is learning to live independently. This is a challenging area for students with IDD and their families. Path To Independence staff assist each student to access community services that will lead to the desired independent living outcomes in the PCP. Each semester, one inclusive independent living class is provided to P2I students and is open to others in the community. Topics include Relationships & Sexuality, Self-Determination, Money Matters, and Nutrition/Cooking. In addition, public transportation travel training is offered through NNCIL.

For current activities associated with Path to Independence, please visit our Facebook page

Applications are accepted January through April of each year for fall semester.  For more information, contact:
Mary Bryant


Riley Fitzgerald

Applications are due May 1, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.  The P2I application and other required forms can be found here:

Application for Academic Year 2017-18

Behavioral Assessment

Reference form (three required)

Application Checklist