FAQs

  1. Can a student come if they are still enrolled in high school?

  2. Do you serve students with mental retardation, Down’s Syndrome?

  3. Do you have a school nurse to distribute medication?

  4. Do students have to live in the school's designated apartments?

  5. Can students live at home and attend as day students only?

  6. My student wants to go to college, do you offer academic credits?

  7. What percentage of your students (not from Birmingham) remain in Birmingham after graduation?

  8. What percentage of your students have jobs after graduation?

  9. What percentage of your students live independently after graduation?

  10. Is it guaranteed that a student will have a paid job in their 3rd year?

  11. Is there any kind of financial aid?

  12. Why is tuition so expensive?

  13. Do you have a governing or advising board?

  14. Is the area where your students live safe?

  15. How long is the program?

  16. Will my child get a degree of specific job training?

  17. Can my student bring their car?

  18. How do I apply?

  19. What kind of documentation do you need?

  20. Are there any volunteer opportunities?

  21. What kind of experience/training do your teachers have?

  22. Can a student begin classes in January?

  23. What is the application deadline?

  24. Are you accredited?
  1. Can a student come if they are still enrolled in high school?
    No, students must have verification that they have exited high school.

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  3. Do you serve students with mental retardation, Down’s Syndrome?
    We primarily serve students with learning disabilities in the borderline to average range of intelligence. Students who fall below the borderline range typically need more structure and support than we offer. All are capable of living independently in an apartment, with a roommate and residential assistant support and all have a strong desire to become independent adults.

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  4. Do you have a school nurse to distribute medication?
    We do not have a school nurse on staff. Students should be capable of self-management of their medications and have the capacity to communicate basic personal health needs.

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  5. Do students have to live in the school's designated apartments?
    At this time, Core Curriculum student 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.

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  6. Can students live at home and attend as day students only?
    No, at this time we believe our students receive the most appropriate experience in a natural community setting. It is difficult for students to practice independent living and social skills with their peers if they are living at home with their parents. The next step toward independence is college-like living for most of our students.

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  7. My student wants to go to college, do you offer academic credits?
    No, we are an independent living skills-based program. Students may not enroll in college classes while attending Horizons.

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  8. What percentage of your students (not from Birmingham) remain in Birmingham after graduation?
    Approximately 35% of Horizons graduates remain in the Birmingham area. Approximately 1/4 of those students’ families live in Birmingham.

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  9. What percentage of your students have jobs after graduation?
    According to our 2006 graduate survey (approximately 50% response rate), 91% were employed.

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  10. What percentage of your students live independently after graduation?
    According to our 2006 graduate survey (approximately 50% response rate), 66% were living away from home.

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  11. Is it guaranteed that a student will have a paid job in their 3rd year?
    Students participate in unpaid internships during the second year. During the third year student move into a job search for paid employment as appropriate to a student’s skill level. Paid employment is dependent upon the job market.

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  12. Is there any kind of financial aid?
    Students may apply for financial aid through the Horizons Foundation or the Marie McElheny Scholarship Foundation Fund. once they have been accepted. Additionally, families and students may receive awards and grants through vocational rehabilitation services, local foundations and/or family pooled grants. Students may also be eligible for financial aid through the school.

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  13. Why is tuition so expensive?
    The majority of the annual operating budget goes directly to pay salaries and associated benefits. The school maintains a low student to staff ratio (3 or 4:1).

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  14. Do you have a governing or advising board?
    The school is a fully functioning 501(c)(3) with a full board of directors.

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  15. 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/staff help as they walk to and from the school. They have a 10:00pm week night and 12:00am weekend curfew and this helps them practice personal safety behavior.

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  16. 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.

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  17. Will my child get a degree of specific job training?
    No, we offer a certificate of program completion at the conclusion of a successful two-year course of study. Your student will, however receive job training in an area of interest to them as they practice personal and social independence.

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  18. Can my student bring a car?
    Students are not allowed to have a car on campus during their first year. After the first year, students, families and the school determine a student’s readiness to independently manage the responsibilities of a car.

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  19. How do I apply?
    Please refer to the Application section of this site.

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  20. What kind of documentation do you need?
    Please refer to the Application section of this site.

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  21. Are there any volunteer opportunities?
    Yes. The school welcomes volunteers to work with our residential program or to offer classroom assistance to individual students.

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  22. What kind of experience/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.

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  23. Can a student begin classes in January?
    No, at this time we only admit students for the fall semester beginning in September.

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  24. What is the application deadline?
    Please refer to the Application section of this site.

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  25. Are you accredited?
    Yes. The school is licensed as a postsecondary program in the State of Alabama and has full accreditation from the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services – an affiliate of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers.

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