Dane County Pilot: Post-Secondary Education and Grad Transition

Young adults (ages 18-21) with developmental disabilities and their families/guardians are increasingly interested in post-secondary education. In response, on a pilot basis, Dane County is offering to partner with individuals interested in this option.

  • Consistent with our current grad policy, transition age young adults who choose a post-secondary school option will receive job supports needed to sustain employment found within 6 months of ending their post-secondary education program.
  • If you plan to enroll in a post-secondary school program, you’ll need to inform the Dane County Department of Human Services DD Intake office (242-6440) of your post-secondary school plans and when you expect to complete the program. Then, when you finish the program or decide to leave it, also let the DD Intake office know.
  • When students plan to enroll in a post secondary program in the local area, they should also remain enrolled at their high school (e.g., a student maintains enrollment at Verona High School while pursuing course work at MATC or Edgewood College). In this way, students can continue to access important high school resources.
  • Students should use the resources available through their high school, through the post-secondary education program, or through DVR whenever possible. (For example, the student’s high school or DVR might pay for support for summer employment between the post-secondary education program school years).


Mary is 18 and is a student at Middleton High School. She is a Senior and has decided to enroll in classes at MATC that will give her the skills to work in an office doing administrative work. She remains enrolled at Middleton while taking these classes. After two years, Middleton High School staff assist Mary with finding a job that will use her new skills. Mary exits Middleton High School at the age of 21 and Dane County provides the funding for support she needs at her job.

Dan is 19 and has been accepted at the 2-year University of Iowa REACH program. He notifies the DD Intake office that he expects to complete the program in 2 years at age 21. Dan attends the REACH program and during the summer, DVR pays for support that Dan needs to work at a part-time job. Dan completes the REACH program and DVR helps Dan find a permanent job at a medical clinic within 6 months. Dane County provides the ongoing funding for the support he needs at his job.