LCS students and coaches at table in Temple's student center

About Leadership & Career Studies

Leadership & Career Studies (L&CS) is a four-year certificate program providing young adults with intellectual disability or intellectual disability and autism an authentic college experience while developing academic abilities, career aspirations, work skills, and independence at Temple University.

All students in L&CS take academic courses, explore college life, and develop career experiences based on their interests and goals. All students in L&CS complete a variety of employment experiences both on and off Temple's main campus.

Each student in L&CS is matched with a peer mentor who is a matriculated Temple student. All students participate in a wide variety of activities, events, and organizations within Temple University.

Leadership & Career Studies evolved from the Institute's two-year program, the Academy for Adult Learning, established in 2008.

Now accepting applications.


Basic Principles

  • Students in L&CS will engage in an authentic college experience at Temple University.
  • Students in L&CS determine and direct the support they need.
  • Students in L&CS select their own course load according to their own interests.
  • Students in L&CS complete five semesters of weekly employment experiences located both on and off Temple's Main Campus.
  • Students in L&CS develop relationships with other Temple students and work together on academic, career, and personal goals.


Program Requirements

Students must:

  • Have intellectual disability or intellectual disability and autism as documented through the County Office of Intellectual Disabilities in which the student resides
  • Be registered with the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Be age 18 to 26
  • Have the ability to pay for classes through service funds or privately
  • Have transportation to Temple's campus
  • Be available to attend day and evening classes
  • Participate in extracurricular activities for a minimum of 10 hours per week


Peer Mentors

Each student in L&CS is matched with a Temple student Peer Mentor who supports them in accessing the university's rich resources. Current Temple students in good standing are recruited, hired, trained, and supervised by Leadership & Career Studies staff at the Institute on Disabilities to serve as effective and supportive mentors. Peer Mentors support students as they participate in academic, recreational, and social activities.


Program Components

Students will have academic course experiences that mirror degree seeking Temple students. Students will also have job experiences through internships, job rotations, and competitive and supported employment. Students will engage in social and extracurricular activities at Temple with the support of peer mentors.

Employment Experiences

Leadership & Career Studies students will have a variety of paid and unpaid work experiences including job rotations, internships, and competitive and supported employment. Most employment opportunities will be on Temple's main campus. Each student is matched to a work opportunity according to their career goals and interests.


Students will take required courses in Leadership and Diversity along with a list of core courses. In addition, students will take elective courses based on interest and employment goals in many of Temple University's schools and colleges. These courses can be typical college courses or continuing education courses offered on campus. Continuing education courses include the Pan-African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP) that offers academic and continuing education classes in the evenings.


For more information about the program, please contact:

Cheryl Torsney, Program Manager of Leadership and Career Studies
Telephone: 215-204-1356

For questions about becoming a Mentor, please contact:

Emily Trott, Coordinator of Student Supports
Telephone: 215-204-1682