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Postsecondary Education Programs

St. John Fisher College partners with three local school districts to offer postsecondary education programs designed to support young adults with developmental disabilities, ages 18-21, as they gain life skills needed to transition to adulthood.

Our campus community benefits greatly through increased experience with diverse student populations and civic engagement opportunities.

Current Postsecondary Programs

Webster and West Irondequoit Postsecondary Program

PSP students enjoy a kayaking outing with Fisher mentors.

PSP students enjoy a kayaking outing with Fisher mentors.

Since the 2009-2010 academic year, young adults from the Webster and West Irondequoit Central School Districts have attended this combined program. The mission of the program is to assist young adults with disabilities in strengthening their daily living, social/personal, and occupational skills. This skill development supports the young adults' transition to living as independently as possible in their communities. Each student shares individualized dreams, identifies skills needed to reach the dreams, and creates a goal plan for achieving them. This goal plan becomes each student's curriculum and is carried out in the program on the Fisher campus and in the community.

Brighton Postsecondary Program

The Brighton Postsecondary Program joined the Fisher campus in the 2017-2018 academic year, also with a mission of providing young adults with developmental disabilities varied learning experiences on a college campus. These experiences support their intellectual and personal growth, so they can be as independent as possible in education, work, and community settings while building meaningful, long-lasting peer relationships.

"When Fisher students mentor and spend time with the PSP students, it lifts their spirits and makes them feel a part of the Fisher community."

Program Activities

The young adults in the postsecondary programs (PSP students) are involved in numerous events and activities across campus and the greater community:

  • Engaging in voluntary or paid work experience on campus and in the community
  • Dining and socializing in the cafes and dining halls across campus
  • Use of books, DVDs, and other materials at Lavery Library
  • Exercising at the fitness center in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center
  • Attending sporting events and movie nights
  • Playing pool in the Campus Center Mainstage
  • Joining student clubs and organizations
  • Visiting the Cardinal TV studio
  • Hosting a table at the Involvement Fest twice a year
  • Joining the annual Teddi Dance for Love fundraising event
  • Partnering with inclusive adolescence education majors in a community-engaged learning mentoring program

Getting Involved

There are a number of ways for Fisher students and faculty/staff to get involved with PSP students. The time commitment may vary, depending on individual schedules, but consistency is of utmost importance. 

For more information about the programs or about how to get involved, contact:

Dr. Whitney Rapp
College Liaison/Program Administrator
(585) 899-3718

For Students

Community-Engaged Learning Courses: Courses, such as ITED 228: The Adolescent may have a community-engaged learning project, pairing typical college students with the PSP students for mentoring partnerships.

Field Placements: Since the Postsecondary Programs are special education classroom settings, they can be sites for additional education field experience hours.

Campus Peer: Campus peers assist in wayfinding on campus, answer questions, and educate about the roles of various locations/offices on campus.

Coursework Peer: Coursework peers accompany PSP students to classes; assist with preferred seating, notetaking, and material management; and scaffold conversations with peers and professors.

Social Peer: Social peers eat, hang out, exercise, or attend club meetings and social events with PSP students; introduce PSP students to friends and classmates; and exchange phone numbers to support text etiquette and making social plans.

Job Peer: Job peers accompany PSP students to vocational locations, get them started on tasks, provide a varied level of support during the shift, and debrief on their job performance after the shift.

For Faculty and Staff

Course Support: Some PSP students observe or audit courses. Depending on the individual, some academic or social support may be needed. Often, PSP students needing any type of support will be accompanied in class by a coursework peer. If you are interested in supporting a PSP student in the course(s) you teach, contact Whitney Rapp, college liaison/program administrator at

PSP Student Presentations: PSP students have presented in various courses about their program experience, person-centered planning for transition to adulthood, or disability awareness. 

Guest Teacher in PSP Classroom: An opportunity to co-plan and co-teach a lesson with the PSP instructors. 

Career Education: PSP students are setting their vocational goals. It would be beneficial for them to learn about your positions on campus as well as job opportunities in all fields.