Our framework for education

Through our traditional two-year program or our new optional third year fellowship, we prepare students to become independent adults living and working purposeful lives in their selected communities.

How it works

AbleLight College provides students with the choice of a traditional two-year program or an optional third-year fellowship program. Students live on campus at one of our two Concordia University campuses in Mequon, Wisconsin, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Employing a person-centered planning approach, students collaborate with their teams to formulate annual goals in key transition areas. These goals undergo formal review meetings, led by each student, on a bi-monthly basis. Advising staff ensures regular communication through bi-weekly updates, focusing on the short-term goals that support each annual objective.

Two AbleLight College graduates celebrating
AbleLight College classroom


Students participate in a series of “core” classes designed to meet their individual needs in areas such as daily living skills, personal development, and employment. In addition, students take 1-3 traditional undergraduate or continuing education courses each semester in one or more of the following areas:

  • Business
  • Information Technology
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Fine Arts & Music
  • Education
  • Human Services
  • Health & Wellness
  • Other electives

Student Support

Students are supported in their elected courses by AbleLight College professional staff and trained undergraduate or graduate students that provide in-class assistance, including but are not limited to:

  • Student profiles of strengths, interests, academic and social/behavioral skills
  • Appropriate accommodations for the student
  • Pre-teaching of concepts
  • Study groups to support and enhance concepts taught in the classroom
  • Support with homework and organization
Three AbleLight College students smiling outdoors

The AbleLight College Experience

Career Preparation & Development

Employment is an important part of life, and a critical part of living independently. Many of the topics and activities in AbleLight courses lead toward being employable and securing a good job upon graduation.

Career Prep classes include lessons on soft skills, job portfolio development, and career exploration.  Internships allow for exploring a variety of work experiences.

Personal Development

The Personal Development component is designed to increase students’ success in school, work, and personal life by learning skills related to self-awareness, setting, and pursing meaningful goals, and developing positive personal qualities such as self-esteem, attitude, self-discipline, and self-motivation which will assist students educational and vocational transition into independent living. 

Independent Living Skills

Independent Living Skills encompass  the range of skills and competencies to live independent, purposeful, integrated lives.  Areas of emphasis include: Managing Personal Finances, Managing a Household, Caring for Personal Needs, Meeting Responsibilities, Purchasing/Preparing/Consuming Food, Responsible Citizenship, and Getting Around the Community.

Campus & Community Life

Inclusive Campus &community experiences are both afforded, encouraged, and individually supported to encourage expansion of social skills, recreation/leisure skills and general community engagement skills

21st Century Skills

We rely on researched practices from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) predictors and practices to promote and improve outcomes for our student. NTACT is the largest base of researched best practices for positive transition outcomes for individuals with disabilities and use the 21st Century Skills to drive the instruction, activities, and exposure in and outside of the classroom. These skills are part of a growing international movement to focus on equipping ALL individuals as they transition past high school to prepare for success in whatever their chosen career path may be. At AbleLight College, these skills are tied to each student’s personalized plan.

21st Century Skills infographic
Two students learning in an AbleLight College classroom

Person Centered Planning

And all of this will be done through the lens of a Person Centered Planning approach for each individual at every stage of the process. Person Centered Planning is an ongoing process used to help people with disabilities plan for their future at all stages of life. It is an approach designed to allow the individual to take control of their future by recognizing their unique talents, desires, and dreams. Through a team effort, their plan for the future becomes a reality. 

Ready to get started?

We are currently enrolling for the 2024 academic year at both our Mequon, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan campuses!