Nebraska Transition College offers classes for students with disabilities

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN)- For the first time in Nebraska, students with autism and other disabilities will have the opportunity to take college courses.

Nebraska Transition College is offering the classes.

Classes will be held at Southeast Community College, but will have special Transition College teachers.

One of the students in the new program tells 10/11 NOW, he's thrilled just to have the opportunity.

Jake Dwinell graduated from Lincoln East in 2016, but on Thursday he will have another first day of school.

This time at Transition College.

"Growing up with this stuff, I never thought this would be possible,” said student, Jake Dwinell.

Dwinell has autism, something he says has created many challenges over the years.

But through this new program he hopes to show people just how much people with disabilities can do.

"What are we going to do about it, has always been my question. So we finally have something we can do, and I think that's a huge step,” said Dwinell.

The zero-credit class will meet for nine weeks.

The goal is to prepare those students with social, living, and work-ready skills.

"This has the potential to go from nothing to something and eventually, independence,” said Executive Director, Dr. Stuart Stofferahn.

Dr. Stofferahn says while graduating high school is exciting for most students, it can be a hard time for those with disabilities.

"Those options, don't exist in the same way. And a lot of them don't exist at all. So what's supposed to be a celebratory event for a lot of these students, ends up being a time of mourning,” said Dr. Stofferahn.

He says with the program they hope to help students like Jake, putting them on the path to success and preparing them for more opportunities.

Dwinell says with the support of his family, he's excited to see what the future hold for him.

"I hope I can find something that I can do for a long time that makes me happy,” said Dwinell.

The Executive Director says classes cost about $150 per student.