VUNITED SCHOLARS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM

VUnited Scholars is a two-year, residential certificate program for post-secondary students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Students live on Villanova University’s beautiful campus and are enrolled in the College of Professional Studies. The focus of the program is to provide an academic experience, combined with independent living instruction and professional development activities, to prepare students for future meaningful employment.

The program combines academic coursework, internship placements and career coaching, individual and group advising, health and fitness activities, spiritual development, and social events. Each week, students participate in academic classes an internship placement. Students develop an individualized course of study when they begin the program. At the conclusion of the program, upon successful completion of all the requirements, students will earn a Certificate in Community and Professional Development.

Director of Admissions and Enrollment:

Paul Ballentine, paul.ballentine@villanova.edu, 610-519-4300
Trish Ertwine, patricia.ertwine@villanova.edu, 610-519-4300

The VUnited Scholars Program focuses on young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Students should have the support from their family and a personal desire to gain necessary skills for self‐determination, independent living and employment. They should be able to independently navigate the Villanova University campus. Typically, students enter the program directly after completing high school.

Classes run a full 15-week semester and are aligned with the University Academic Calendar.

Students should apply to VUnited Scholars using the application link on the College of Professional Studies website. The application deadline is March 11. All materials must be received by that date for review. Applicants may be invited for an on-campus interview (or Zoom if in person is not possible) between March 28 and April 1.

Decisions will be released on April 22. 

A non-refundable deposit of $500 must be submitted by May 15th to secure your spot in the program.

Approximately 5-8 students are accepted annually.

ON-CAMPUS EXPRIENCE

To earn a Certificate in Community and Professional Development from the College of Professional Studies at Villanova, students satisfy requirements outlined below.  Overall, students will spend approximately 20 hours per week engaged in program activities as they work towards their certificate.  

Academic Coursework

  • VUnited Scholar Seminars (~6 hours/week): Full listing available here.
  • Academic experiences with traditional students (minimum of 3 hours/week):  
    • Students are required to participate in an academic experience with traditional students for a minimum of three hours per week.  
    • These can include formal learning experiences such as: 
      • An audited and/or credit-bearing Villanova undergraduate course from the Academic Catalog (see guidelines below);
      • Professional Education courses and workshops offered through the College of Professional Studies; 
      • Non-credit-bearing leadership training or other courses at the University.  
  • Guidelines for traditional three-credit course participation:
    • Students interested in tradirional three-credit courses are required to first audit a traditional course successfully before being approved to enroll in a course for credit. 
    • Successful completion of an audit class is defined as meeting all of the expectations outlined in the learning contract between the student and the faculty member. 
    • Students may only audit and/or enroll in one traditional UG course per semester.  (See below for additional information).
    • Students who are interested in enrolling either for audit or credit in more than one class per semester should be advised that is beyond the scope and permissions of the program, and no exceptions will be made.

Career Development and Vocational Experiences (8 hours/week): 

Students will receive career planning and application support, coaching and placement in an internship.  Students will work a minimum of 8 hours per week at their placement. 

 

Campus and Community Engagement (2.5 hours/week): 

Students are required to participate in a campus and/or community activity for a minimum of 2.5 hours per week. Examples include: 

  • Student Life programs, clubs, and events 
  • Campus Ministry 
  • Residence Hall programming 
  • Special Campus Events (Lectures, St. Thomas of Villanova Day, MLK Day of Service, etc.) 
  • Recreational Activities

Students will develop a person-centered plan for their studies in partnership with program staff and their academic advisor at the start of their Villanova studies to determine their course of study. Every semester, the plan will be evaluated and updated to support the student’s individual career goals.

Placements are either on campus or in the local community. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Program staff will coordinate transportation as needed.

The program is focused on careers in business and human services. Students will receive the support of program staff and mentors for their internship placements.

Students in the VUnited Scholars Program will be supported by a resident assistant, counselors, professors, academic advisors, activities advisors, spiritual advisor, program staff, and through a tri-level partnership with Villanova undergraduate student peer mentors that will include an academic mentor, a residence life mentor, and a physical fitness/social mentor.

Students will reside in a residence hall located in a centrally located area of Villanova's campus. They will be paired with another VUnited Scholar as a roommate. As full time Villanova students, they will have access to the same extensive facilities for dining, recreation, study, and worship as do traditional Villanova students.

Students will receive the 21 meal plan as part of their program cost. 

The goal is for VUnited students to have an inclusive Catholic college experience, with full access to campus activities, campus ministry worship and service opportunities, student clubs, and special events on the Villanova campus.

FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION

Tuition for 2024-2025: $33,250 per year (Incoming students)

Housing & Meals 2024-2025: ~$18,000* Click here for applicable rates.

Villanova University is an approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.  This designation affords students the opportunity to receive funding from the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study Programs.  Students complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility.

*Rates vary based on selected meal plan.

Villanova University is an approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.  This designation affords students the opportunity to receive funding from the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study Programs.  Students complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility.

Think College has a helpful resource on paying for college, and program staff is available to advise as well.

Students can also utilize a payment plan.

Villanova University is an approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.  This designation affords students the opportunity to receive funding from the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study Programs.  Students complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility.

College of Professional Studies

800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Vasey Hall, Room 103
Villanova, PA 19085

Maps & Directions to Campus

The VUnited Scholars Program seeks new partners who believe in expanding inclusive access to higher education.