Adult Education Programming

About Us

A leader in meeting the educational, therapeutic, social, and vocational needs of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodiversities since 2003, Academy of Whole Learning is leveraging its strengths to continue to meet the needs of those in the adult community (ages 18-26).

Using research-based assessments as our guide, our tailored and hands-on approach helps pinpoint the areas for growth most necessary to help young adults live their most independent, productive, and self-actualized lives. Our small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratio gives our young adults the guidance and attention necessary to achieve their goals while encouraging them to be the drivers of their own success. We teach students the mindsets to be forward thinkers, the insights to command their own thought processes, and the social and vocational skills necessary to thrive in their communities.

For more information, please click on each tab below.

Interested in Learning More?
Watch our recent Adult Education Program webinar here.

Please view the program information below or schedule a tour for additional information.

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    Why Adult Ed?

    Why Adult Education?

    Adult Education Programming, often referred to as “Transitions Programming,” develops the skills and mindsets for young adults with neurodiversities to enter into the adult world. At Academy of Whole Learning, our holistic approach encourages students to self-actualize all aspects of their development, and our hands-on approach ensures that each student’s needs are being met at their level, at their own pace. We believe that transitions curriculum is for anyone with a need, and so we will work with young adults on individualized improvement plans.


    While most students will benefit from enrolling in the entirety of our adult programming (Full Day Enrollment), we also offer individual programming enrollment options (Flexible Enrollment and A La Carte Enrollment), for those who want to focus exclusively on one or more of the primary transition areas.

    Likewise, our focused curriculum allows students to develop outside of our programming, whether that is through academics-based post-secondary schooling, working a part-time job, or exploring additional interests in the community. We will work with students to make our programming the best fit it can be.

  • Employment Skills


    • Does your child display appropriate hygiene, grooming, and dress, as it relates to a workplace environment?
    • Does your child have the self-advocacy and problem-solving skills to thrive in a work environment?
    • Does your child have executive functioning skills (time management, organization, planning, cognitive flexibility) to succeed in a work environment?
    • Does your child have the social skills to navigate a workplace environment and to accept authority? 
    • Does your child have the emotional resiliency to stay at a difficult task and accept constructive feedback?
    • Does your child have a resume, cover letter, interview skills, and all of the necessary components to land that first or second job?
    • Does your child have volunteer and/or work experience to help fill out a resume and acquire or move beyond an entry-level position?
    • Has your child established the requisite networking skills and opportunities to find and secure employment opportunities?
    • Does your child have a clear and defined vocational pathway that is both realistic and motivating?

    If your answers were not unequivocally “yes” to the following questions, your child might benefit from our Employment Skills programming. 

    In addition to our coursework, Academy of Whole Learning will work with county services and community partners to find internships, shadows, and paid work opportunities in a variety of experiences with similar-aged peers.

  • Independent Living


    • Does your child have the skills and understanding to routinely perform, without guidance, supervision, or reminders, the tasks necessary to live independently, including but not limited to:
        • Laundry
        • Meal Prep and Cooking
        • Home Improvement and Maintenance
        • First Aid/Safety Awareness
        • Finances/Money Management
        • Accessing Community Resources
        • Time Management/Scheduling Appointments
    •  Does your child practice the self-care to live independently? To keep a clean self and home? To keep items regularly stocked and maintained?
    • Can your child navigate their transportation needs independently?

    If your answers were not unequivocally “yes” to the following questions, your child might benefit from our Independent Living Skills programming. Working in conjunction with our Community Participation programming, Independent Living provides the hands-on practice and individual attention necessary to develop functional independence, both in the home and using community services.

    In addition, we routinely offer programming geared towards specific independent living skills, such as financial literacy, technology, social media usage, and culinary skills. 

  • Community Participation


    Academy of Whole Learning emphasizes and teaches students the importance of skills necessary to network in their community. A hands-on, research-based program, AOWL’s community networks bring together many of the skills honed in other courses to develop them in experiential settings in the community. All community participation costs are included in the cost of the programming, and each week is built around at least one site visit/experience.




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    Post-secondary Education


    Our programming has proven successful in helping students transition into post-secondary institutions. For those who qualify, we encourage students to enroll in academics-based postsecondary classes to build towards their future while still developing the adult skills necessary to live independently.

    In addition, we will work with students to continue to sharpen academic and functional skills related to coursework, increase students' ability to self-advocate and articulate academic needs, and develop the self-determination and independence necessary to complete a post-secondary degree. 

    For those lifelong learners who desire continued academic growth, we offering programming geared toward the individual needs of the learner, but with a particular emphasis on the cognitive skills necessary to acquire and retain employment.

  • Social Skills


    Social Skills in our Adult Education Program runs the gamut from developing the initial self-awareness and self-monitoring skills to developing the skills and strategies to build quality relationships.

    Every student that is enrolled in 20+ hours is automatically enrolled in our Friday Social Recreation event, where students will plan events, budget for them, and coordinate schedules for a full-day of engagement and fun.



  • Self-Determination


    We define self-determination as being the driver of your own success under the four pillars of:

    • Support
    • Responsibility
    • Accountability
    • Trust

    Self-Determination helps students understand themselves, understand their neurodiversities, and understand the world around them (and their place in it). In addition, Self-Determination uses social scenarios to model, practice, and discuss the executive functioning and mental health strategies necessary to achieve the highest degree of independent success possible.

    A self-determined individual can:

    • Set and follow through on goals
    • Monitor progress and adjust if necessary 
    • Consider options before making decisions
    • Maintain a positive mindset and attitude 
    • Self-Advocate 
    • Take risks
    • Accept criticism and feedback
    • Function at the highest level of independence possible
    • Celebrate successes



  • Social Recreation


    Our Fridays are dedicated to all-day community social events. While the emphasis is on fun and social engagement, the intended purpose behind the activity is to maintain or improve mental and emotional well-being, reduce feelings of isolation, learn how to participate in social events, manage stress, negotiate differences, and plan for recreational events. Social Recreation is planned by the students with an emphasis on enhancing their physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and leisure development.

    We strongly encourage young adults who may have already completed a transitions program to consider our ongoing social recreation activities as a cost-effective means of remaining socially engaged in a community of peers.



  • Course Catalog

    In our course catalog, you will find descriptions for the various growth areas that our programming addresses. Each growth area is research-based and proven fundamental to the development of young adults.

    Most of our courses are designed to address multiple growth areas, and many can be taken over multiple years, as the content and focus will change each time. These courses are indicated as such.

    Because each young adult is different, each path to completion may look different as well. Some students may highlight specific areas of need. Some may attend full-day. Some may take advantage of our flexible enrollment. We will work with you in a supportive and non-judgmental space to determine the types of coursework that works best for you, for as long as it is beneficial.

    Please see our course catalog here.

  • Tuition

    Our Adult Programming schedule for next year runs from 9am-5pm, Mondays through Thursdays, and 10am-3pm on Fridays.

    Full-time tuition for the school year is $31,800 (plus a $300 technology fee). Tuition Assistance for full-time students is available based on need and how much we are able to raise through our development efforts.

    We offer a smaller and more flexible schedule (20-25 hours per week) for students who are employed, attended additional post-secondary education options, for $22,000 per school year.

    For students with a limited or targeted need, or for students who have already completed three years of transitions programming, we offer strictly a la carte options catered to an individuals needs. Ala carte pricing is $1,200 per credit plus an additional $1,000 for our social recreation day

    For students who are not full-time but who would benefit from flexible scheduling or pick-up options (or who just want to hang out with peers in a social environment), we offer flex scheduling options with the ability to remain at school in our recreation/study room for an additional cost of $1,000 per semester. Students will receive only minimal adult supervision, but will be allowed to remain on-site during normal program hours, Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, so long as they are able to do so responsibly and independently.

    Individuals who qualify for state and county funding may be able to use their funds towards the cost of tuition. In Minnesota, this is most often through the CDCS services. Contact our office for more information if you believe you may be eligible.

    Tuition Assistance

    We understand and appreciate the financial commitment families assume in deciding to send their children to a special private school. Assistance is based on the family’s financial need and the amount of money we were able to raise through development efforts.

    Academy of Whole Learning accepts students for admission without regard to their financial status. Decisions regarding tuition assistance are made completely independently from the admissions decision.

    To help us objectively assess what a family is able to contribute toward education expenses for their child, we use TADS as a trusted third party. TADS provides an analysis of a family’s “Estimated Family Contribution” and is a critical component of our tuition assistance award decisions, however it is just a start. To make our tuition assistance award decisions, we use TADS results as the baseline for our review, taking into consideration our total tuition assistance budget, other information we may have collected, our school’s policies and priorities, and the needs of the entire applicant pool.

    Please visit the TADS website by clicking the button below. Create a new account and complete the financial assistance application process.  Applications are due by April 15, 2021.

    Click here to apply at
  • Admissions Process

    The admissions process for our Adult Education Program is a series of conversations, information sharing, and data collection conducted by the Academy of Whole Learning Admissions Team. The goal is to best understand the individual needs of each applicant. During this process, families come to understand the Academy stands by its mission to provide a personalized learning path integrating for each individual.

    Steps in the Process

    The admissions process starts with thoroughly reading through the program's website in order to gain a full understanding of our mission and the students we serve.

    Prospective parents/students interested in our adult education program should schedule a tour of our facility and interview with our staff.

    Apply by submitting the following admissions documents to AOWL.

    - Completed application, *(including $150 non-refundable application fee payable to Academy of Whole Learning.)
    - * Latest IEP and most recent comprehensive assessment OR psychological-educational evaluation.
    - * School transcripts.
    - * Completed Release of Information Form.

    * = does not apply to current AOWL families

    Once AOWL has received all required admissions documents, a thorough document review and screening will be completed.

    After the facility tour/interview and review of a student’s application, if the AOWL Admissions Team believe our Adult Education Program can support the student, an offer of admissions will be made.

    To accept the admissions offer, please return signed contract and non-refundable $1,000 deposit.

    Every student who is admitted to the Adult Education Program must have a completed medical examination and immunization report.

    If questions should arise pertaining to the admission policies or procedures, please contact admissions at (952) 737-6900 or


  • Monthly Newsletter

    The Adult Education Newsletter

    The Adult Education Newsletter is produced each month and includes important information, reminders, announcements, accolades, and a calendar. Below are copies of the newsletter.

    2020-21 School Year

    August 2021
    May 2021
    April 2021
    March 2021
    February 2021
    January 2021
    December 2020
    November 2020
  • Webinar

    Adult Education Webinar 3/23/21

    Mike Faeth, our Adult Education Program Coordinator, conducted a webinar to give an overview of the program and answer prospective family questions. Click here to view the webinar.