Adult Education Programming

About Us

A leader in meeting the educational, therapeutic, social, and vocational needs of high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodiversities since 2003, the Academy of Whole Learning is now 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 4:1 student-teacher ratio gives our young adults the guidance and attention necessary to achieve their goals, while encouraging and teaching them to be the drivers of their own success. We teach students the mindsets to be forward thinkers, the insights to be aware of and command their own thought processes, and the social and vocational skills necessary to thrive in their communities, and in the workplace.

For more information, please click on each tab below.

Now accepting applications!

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 School Year. Please view the program information below or call (952) 737-6900 to find out more.

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    Why Adult Ed?

    Why Adult Education?

    Adult Education Programming, often referred to as “Transitions Programming”, is primarily built around developing 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 growth and 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 will work with you to address and improve in the areas of most concern to you.


    While we encourage most students to enroll for the entirety of our adult programming, we have individual programming enrollment options (when applicable and available), for those who want to focus exclusively on one or more of the primary transition areas.

    Likewise, our targeted and focused curriculum and approach allows students to live and develop outside of our programming, whether that is academics-based post-secondary schooling, working a part-time job, or exploring additional interests in the community. We will work with you 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. For a more detailed look at our course offering on Employment Skills for the 2021-22 school year, please click here.

    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 without disabilities. 

  • 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 1:1 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 and social media usage, and culinary skills. 

    For a more detailed look at our course offerings on Home Living Skills for the 20-21 school year, please click here and here.

  • Community Participation


    Academy of Whole Learning emphasizes and teaches students the importance of skills necessary to network in their community. A hands-on programming with a research-based component, AOWL’s community networks and participation brings together many of the skills and understanding learned 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.

    For a more detailed look at our course offerings and where in the community we plan on visiting, please click here:



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    Continuing Education


    Our programming has demonstrated proven success at helping students transition successfully 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 you to continue to hone your academic and functional skills related to your coursework, increase your ability to self-advocate and articulate your academic needs, and develop the self-determination and independence skills necessary to complete your post-secondary degree. 

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

    For continuing academic coursework for the 21-22 school year, click here

  • Social Skills


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

    Every Voyageurs student that is 20+ hours is automatically enrolled in our Friday Social Recration 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 disability, 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, feelings of isolation, learned participation in social events, managing stress, negotiating differences, and planning and budgeting for recreational events. Social Recreation is planned for by the students with an emphasis on enhancing one’s physical, emotional, cognitive, social and leisure development.

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



  • Course Catalog


    Our Adult Education Program currently offers coursework in employment skills, home living skills, personal finance skills, community participation skills and social skills. For course descriptions, goals/objectives and syllabus for each offering, 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 $33,000 (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, or 

    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 individual need. See our a la carte pricing options here.

    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.

    For more information on admissions and tuition, please visit the “admissions” and “tuition” sections of our school website, and/or contact admissions at (952) 737-6900 or For tuition questions, please contact Mike Onan, Finance Director at 952-737-6900 or

  • Admissions Process

    The admissions process for our Adult Education Program is a series of conversations, information, data collection, and observations 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 in order to view our students in action and ask additional questions regarding our program.

    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.

    Once AOWL has received all required admissions documents, a thorough document review and screening will be completed. A student shadow opportunity will be scheduled in our Adult Education Program.

    If after facility tour, review of a student’s application and student shadow, 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

    January 2021

    December 2020

    November 2020