RISE Program | Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pennsylvania

RISE Program


RISE is an inclusive program to help individuals with intellectual disabilities complete college courses and prepare for sustainable employment. RISE students are fully included with the campus community through classes, academic support, and student life involvement.

RISE program applications will be available on this page in Fall 2024. The first cohort of students will start classes in Fall 2025. 

If you would like to be added to the RISE mailing list to stay informed on program updates, click this link. For additional questions about RISE, please send an email to eicherlaFREEWESTMORELAND.

Click below for more information:

RISE students complete an Integrated Studies certificate, which is a two-year, part-time credit credential. The Integrated Studies certificate is composed of 3 types of courses: 
  • A series of technical training courses in one of the following career areas: 
    • Baking/pastry
    • Culinary arts
    • Early childhood education
    • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
    • Microcomputer support
    • Office administration
    • Plumbing
  • A series of personal development courses designed to help students build skills needed for employment, such as communication, conflict resolution, and on-the-job etiquette. 
  • A series of general elective courses of the student’s choice.

RISE students have access to weekly academic coaching, tutoring, peer mentors, and a structured study lounge to help them complete their coursework.  Students are also supported as they participate in all areas of campus life, including clubs, activities, and events. 

RISE students have access to all of Westmoreland’s advising and support resources.

RISE has a separate admission process, where students need to apply and be accepted to participate. Students who are not accepted into the RISE program are still eligible to be students at Westmoreland.

Applications for the RISE program will be available on this page in fall 2024. Please check back for updated information on the application process.

RISE students are responsible for paying standard tuition and fees for their courses.  They also pay a separate fee for the academic support that RISE provides. 

Westmoreland anticipates being able to accept funding from federal financial aid, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, ID/Autism Waiver, and other sources. 

Please check back to this site for updated information on cost and aid.

For more information on inclusive college programs for students with intellectual disabilities, please visit the Think College site.

The mission of RISE is to provide supported pathways for students with intellectual disabilities to earn a college credential and seamlessly transition into sustainable employment and independent living.