The Horizons School provides a community-based educational program promoting successful transition to independent living for young adults with learning disabilities, autism spectrum and developmental disorders.
What is your student profile? A young adult 18 to 26 years old with a learning disability such as ASD, developmental delay, mild CP or other similar learning differences. Successful students in our program have exited high school, have a strong desire for independence, are capable of working and living in an apartment with minimal supervision.
Can a student start the program mid-year? At this time we only admit students for the fall semester beginning in September.
Do students have to live in the school’s designated apartment building? At this time, Core Curriculum (1st & 2nd year) students must live in the apartment complex with the supervision of the school’s resident assistants. Much of our community-based programming for personal and social independence occurs on site at the apartment complex.
Is the area where your students live safe? Students live in an apartment complex near the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campus. The area surrounding the complex is a busy retail, shopping and dining area. Students practice safety rules and behaviors with faculty assistance as they walk to and from the school. They have a 10:00 pm week night and 12:00 am weekend curfew and this helps them practice personal safety behavior.
My student wants to go to college. Do you offer academic credits? Eligible students are able to take classes at Jefferson State Community College beginning their second year of the core curriculum program.
How long is the program? The Core Curriculum is a two-year program of study. There is an optional third year, called the Community Transition Program, which helps our students transition to a greater level of independence.
What kind of experience and training do your teachers have? Faculty and staff have a variety of educational and experiential backgrounds. Most employees have an undergraduate or graduate degree in education or related field (counseling, rehabilitation, psychology, social work, nursing), three to five years of experience with individuals with disabilities, and a willingness to work collaboratively with others.
Do you have counselors on staff? No, we do not have licensed counselors, psychiatrists or psychologists on staff. As such, we are not properly equipped to handle young adults with behavior diagnoses such as mood disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or clinical depression.
Do you have a nurse on staff? No, we do not. Students should be capable of self-management of their medications and have the capacity to communicate basic personal health needs. The program is not designed to provide daily management of complex health and behavioral needs.
Are you a licensed school? Yes. The school is licensed as a post-secondary program in the State of Alabama by the Alabama Department of Education, Community College System.
Do you have a governing or advising board? The school is a 501(c)(3) with an experienced board of directors.
Can I use student loans, federal student aid or college savings (529) plans to pay for tuition? Yes! An ABLE or 529A Account is a tax-advantaged account that can be used to save funds for qualified disability expenses, such as pre-placement vocational training, housing, transportation and clinic care. For more information, visit www.EnableAL.com.
Do students get the summer off? No, our program runs from September through August, with breaks for holidays and between trimesters.