I recently had the pleasure of touring the campus of MCTI, a FREE college option for some of our students/children with severe learning differences. They have many career path options. Students take an introductory 5-week class on pinpointing strengths and skill areas, and then they begin their chosen program based on those results. A few examples are Electronics, Auto Repair, Culinary Arts, Office Machine Repair, and Graphics. Programs usually take 1-2 years to complete and run 11 months of the year (they are closed in August).
All classes have text to speech capability (THIS IS HUGE!) and classes are offered in basic reading and math initially if your child needs that support. A few of the programs require a 6th grade reading level to be admitted, due to the complexity of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful, but most don’t.
Tuition is FREE, uniforms (if needed) are FREE, food and housing are provided FREE, books and all materials needed are provided FREE. It is a HANDS-ON experience in learning. Your student/child must be registered within the MRS (Michigan Rehabilitation System) network to qualify to attend. (Find out if your student/child qualifies! Give them something to work toward! You can never start too early on this stuff!)
The campus is located north of Kalamazoo near Delton. It is situated on a beautiful, clear swimming lake. Pontoons, kayaks and paddle boats are available (free) for students to sign out. Bikes are also available for check out (free) with bike paths nearby. The social calendar is filled with things like outings to movies or the mall, frisbee golf, and karaoke (with free transportation). The campus has its own bowling alley, archery area, and weight lifting room, as well as a beautiful pool, gym, and ropes course. The dorms are located on four floors of the main building, which also houses most of the academic programs. The culinary students prepare food for the campus restaurant, with no items priced above $4, but all cafeteria food is available for free.
I encourage you to schedule a tour of the campus, either with a student who would benefit, or on your own to keep in mind for future students. (Pressed for time? Check out their website http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_25392_40242—,00.html.) I loved the tour and will be singing MCTI’s praises to all who will listen!