Purdue University Fort Wayne
Bridges to Education and Careers

2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Phone: 260-481-6592
E-mail: yuhaszs@ipfw.edu
Website: pfw.edu/bridges
Contact person: Suzanna Yuhasz
E-mail:   yuhaszs@pfw.edu 

General Info

Type of school:
4-year college or university

Program Description:

Bridges to Education and Careers at Purdue University Fort Wayne is a program for students with intellectual disabilities or autism who have completed high school, with a diploma or a Certificate of Completion, and are ready to make the transition to college. This program is fully inclusive with a primary emphasis on educational enrichment and paving a road to employment.  Students will have the opportunity to learn study techniques and gain experiences to prepare for future employment.  Students have the option of working toward a certificate from the program or a degree from the university.  Students receive both academic and social support from peer mentors. 

Students can attend this program if they:

  • Have graduated or exited from high school

Number of students in this program:

Top 3 Priority Areas:

  • 1: Employment
  • 2: College course access
  • 3: Social skills development

Additional priority areas:
Integration into college experience

The minimum age of a student to attend this program:

Tuition and fees per year:

Room and board per year:

Cost of books per year:

Students can pay to attend this program using (subject to student eligibility):

  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Medicaid Waiver or Day Habilitation funds

Entrance Requirements:

  • High School diploma
  • Other diploma (i.e. IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
  • Be able to safely navigate the campus independently
  • Have a specific disability label or type
  • Have basic safety skills in an unsupervised setting
  • Have practical reading and writing skills

Students with intellectual disabilities take:

  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical college courses for credit

Students in this program also take these specially designed courses:

  • Orientation to college
  • Study skills
  • Life skills

Amount of instructional time spent only with other students with intellectual disabilities:
Less than 25%

Average amount of time it will take a student to complete the program:
2 years

This program operates during the summer:

Students are eligible to earn a degree or certificate:

This degree or certificate is available to:  students who complete required courses, audited classes can be applied toward certificate

Housing Options:

  • Inclusive dorms

Social Activity Participation:

  • Students attend campus social activities with peer mentors
  • Students with ID independently seek out and participate in desired social activities
  • Other (please enter answer below)

College Info
Established in 1964, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest university in northeast Indiana. As an Indiana Multisystem Metropolitan University, IPFW is uniquely positioned to serve the region as a crossroads of intellectual, social, economic, and cultural advancement and to continue to expand its global reach through research, scholarship, and creative expression. IPFW combines challenging academics with a focus on student success across more than 200 Indiana University and Purdue University degree programs, taught by nearly 350 full-time faculty and additional degreed, professional adjunct faculty. Offering courses at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, the university has a total enrollment of nearly 13,000. Approximately 9,800 are degree seeking, and the student body is one of diverse ages, races, and nationalities. Courses are offered on the almost 700-acre campus and online. Nearly half of IPFW students are first-generation, meaning the first in their families to attend college, and 15 percent are from underrepresented populations. Seventy-five percent of IPFW students receive some form of financial assistance to achieve their academic and career goals.