Admission & Applications

Eligibility Criteria for Applicants


Applications should be submitted only for individuals who are able to:

  •  Function without attendant care for personal needs.
  •  Independently and accurately manage and administer their medications.
  • Independently communicate basic needs and wants.


Further, the program will consider only individuals that meet the following criteria:

  •  The applicant must have an identified intellectual/developmental disability.
  • The age range of students to be accepted is 18 - 28 years of age.
  •  Strong motivation to want learn what it takes to live independently as well as fully embrace the university experience and all that Wayfinders has to offer.
  •  The applicant cannot be conserved under any area.
  • The applicant must have received a diploma or certificate of completion or equivalent from a high school program.
  • The applicant must be knowledgeable of their medications and be able self-medicate.
  • The applicant must possess enough self-help skills and responsibility to safely and independently function in his/her apartment with minimal to no supervision during all program hours.
  •   The applicant must have acceptable social behavior, verified by previous schools, family, and/or agency personnel as well as the ability to get along with peers, follow rules, and accept supervision.
  • The applicant must be willing to participate in all hours of instruction a week, as well as in the supported learning during after hours and weekends.
  •  The applicant must be free of any communicable diseases that are transmissible by casual contact and all immunizations must be up to date. He or she must have health insurance (i.e. private or Medi-Cal). 
  • The applicant must be able to participate in a personal interview.
  • The applicant is required to provide current assessments from school, regional center and/or current program attending.
  •  The applicant must have a strong desire to complete the program and live independently.


Good reasons for referring an individual:

  • The applicant expresses a desire to live independently and is ready and motivated to make a commitment to learning independent living skills.
  • The applicant expresses a desire to become employed and has a strong desire to learn vocational skills.
  • The applicant is interested in exploring academic interests on a college campus.
  • The family is supportive of the applicant’s decision and is willing to partner with the Wayfinders Program.
  • Parents/family are ready to for their son/daughter to leave home and learn to make decisions on their own.


Wrong reasons for referring an individual:

  • The family wants the applicant out of their home.
  • It seems like a good idea to separate the applicant from their family.
  • The applicant has lost the motivation for learning in their present environment.
  • The applicant feels ready to live independently, but the family, teacher and Regional Center Service Coordinator (RCSC) does not feel they are ready.
  • The applicant has behavioral issues and the Wayfinders program will fix them. 


If the individual does not meet the criteria for the Wayfinders Program, he or she is encouraged to search other options through the local regional center, local school districts, and through online exploration.The individual may apply to Wayfinders at a later time once the eligibility criteria have been met.



Application Procedure



Attend a Program TourBoth the applicant and family must attend a Wayfinders Program Tour before applying to the program. The applicant and family must have attended this tour within two years of applying. During this tour, all aspects and goals of the program will be reviewed and discussed during a presentation with an opportunity for questions and answers by the Wayfinders’ staff. After the presentation, the Wayfinders Program Tour will continue with a tour of the apartments that Wayfinders students reside. Visit the Program Tour page to register for a Program Tour date. The Wayfinders Program tour does not provide a tour of the Fresno State campus. If you wish to take a tour of the Fresno State campus, please visit .





Carefully read the eligibility criteria. If the initial criteria are met, download the Wayfinders Application Packet from below. Then, contact your Regional Center Service Coordinator (RCSC) to complete the referral paperwork. An applicant who is not a client of a regional center may apply without a referral by a RCSC. All required documents of the Application Packet must be submitted together to complete the process for admission consideration to Wayfinders. It is important that the most current information is submitted in order to ascertain that the Wayfinders Program is an appropriate placement and that the student has the combination of desire, motivation, skill, and experience to be successful in the program. 





Once the completed application packet has been reviewed by Wayfinders, one of the following will take place:

  a)  The applicant and parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted to set up an interview (see step #4 below.)

  b)  The applicant was not selected and may be encouraged to reapply.



STEP #4  (For applicants who are selected to be interviewed.)


The applicant and parent(s)/guardian(s) must be present and will be interviewed separately.

The interview process will ascertain the following:

  • The applicant has the desire, ability and motivation to complete the program in the expected period.
  • The program staff and/or community resources can appropriately serve the applicant's needs.
  • The program provides the least restrictive environment for the applicant.
  • The applicant is prepared to enter the program.
  • The applicant meets the entrance requirements.

RESULTS NOTIFICATION  (Please be patient. We are weighing our decisions carefully.)

Upon completion of all interviews, one of the following will take place:
  a)  The applicant will receive an offer of admission to Wayfinders.
  b)  The applicant will receive a notification letter explaining that he or she was not selected and may be encouraged to reapply.
  c)  The applcant will receive a notification letter explaining that he or she is on a waiting list in the event a selected student does not accept an offer of admission.


Application Packet

Fall of 2018 Admission:

Our application packet is currently under revision. The application will become available for download here on September 1, 2017. Wayfinders will begin accepting applications on November 1, 2017. The application deadline will be January 15, 2018. 



Video by Angelina Alessi, sibling of Patrica Alessi, Wayfinders Class of 2017