Transition Programs and Career Readiness for Individuals with Disabilities

Academic School Year Transition Program Information 

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is challenging for young adults with learning disabilities. William Paterson University’s Transition Program, run through the College of Education, offers School Districts the opportunity to enroll their 11th, 12th, and transitional students in multiple certification programs. This program is for students ages 18 - 21 with 504s/IEPs, who are looking for an academic bridge between graduating high school and beginning either a collegiate or professional career.

The Transition program provides students ages 18 to 21 with college and career pathways, preparing them to live successful and independent lives. We provide opportunities for students to receive industry certifications and exposure to college life; with a focus on the importance of teaching students how to advocate for themselves within professional environments. William Paterson University is prepared to provide the following Transitional Programs to students during the Academic Year:

· Academic and Career Readiness Dual Enrollment Programs for Grade 11

· Professional Certification Dual Enrollment / Non-degree Programs for Grade 12

· Post-high school Transition Program (ages 18 – 21)

· Program is available to young adults ages 21+ on a case-by-case basis.

· Self-Advocacy and Social-emotional Skills workshops for students with Intellectual Disabilities (ages 18 -21).


Program Goals

The goal is to foster a positive academic transition from high school and early preparation for post-secondary and National Professional Certifications; as well as preparation for entry-level job placement. Students will have the opportunity to experience college life, develop their social skills through interacting with their peers and career awareness of the potential options available to them. Students can earn professional certifications to increase their marketability in the industry of their choice. The program will provide a structured learning experience (SLE); and community-based instruction for students to develop the skills needed for successful job placement.

Program Benefits

Students with learning disabilities will benefit from attending the WPUNJ Transition Program non-degree professional certification programs through the following:

· Students can earn a Professional Certificate in a credentialed career path of their interest.

· Students can earn High School Credits while participating in the certificate program if needed.

· Students will further learn and develop life skills, including but not limited to time management, healthy relationship management, public speaking skills, and goal setting.

· Students will be exposed to college life and given mentorship opportunities by current WP college students to help develop social skills.

· Students will develop career readiness skills, including but not limited to interview skills, resume and cover letter writing, research skills, and writing skills.

· Students will learn job readiness skills (interview skills and job search) and develop a career portfolio to be marketable for competitive employment.

· Students will prepare academically for post-secondary career training.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students ages 18 to 21 who have an IEP or 504.

The program runs at William Paterson University. Monday – Thursday we run the program at one of our satellite campuses, 1600 Valley Road. On Fridays we are located on our Main Campus, at 300 Pompton Road.

We offer a 4-day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) schedule and a 5-day (Monday – Friday) schedule.

We offer the Transition Program from early September to early June and follow both the district and University schedules for holidays and breaks. Students can attend for just one year or all three years depending on their age and needs.

We offer both college and career readiness. Students can receive an industry certification and learn about the college landscape. Students develop self confidence through this program and the ability to enhance their individual levels of independence.

No! We accept private registration as well as district sponsorship.

If they are sponsored through their school, you initiate the process during an IEP meeting the year prior to attending. All students need to submit an IEP as part of the enrollment process. If you are enrolling them privately, contact us for the intake survey and registration link.

We have a rolling enrollment process so you can enroll any time for next academic year (FA23 & SP24)

Contact us at for a recommendation on the next steps and to chat with one of our team members!



Contact Information 

JoAnn Alvarez Webb

Interim Assistant Director, Pre-College Youth Programs

College of Education

William Paterson University

1600 Valley Rd., Wayne, NJ 07470

973-720-3804 (office)

973-390-2236 (cell)

Summer Transition Programs Information

William Paterson University is offering a week-long Summer Transition program for high school students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and/or 504 plans. The programs are designed to provide students with guidance, self-awareness, and self-advocacy skill development; as well as exposure to a college environment and the development of the tools they would need for academic success. The programs are open enrollment based on fit and availability; with both a Resident and Commuter offering.


“Friday, I spent a few minutes reaching out to the parents of our students in [the Educational Transition] program and they raved about it! They were very pleased with how things were going and that their children are engaged and enjoying themselves. I wanted to let you know how happy they were! This was a shining moment during a difficult time and I am so happy they are doing so well.”

-Christopher Foglio, Assistant Principal, Secondary Student Support Services, Wayne Township Public Schools

Contact Us

(973) 720-3804