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Wayfinders at Fresno State

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria to attend the Wayfinders Program?
  • 18-28 years old
  • Has a diagnosed intellectual and/or developmental disability and can provide documentation of diagnosis
  • Will have completed high school with a diploma or certificate of completion prior to August 1
  • Has a strong desire to live independently after completion of Wayfinders and parents/guardians who support their progress toward independence
  • Is comfortable with a dynamic schedule and has intrinsic motivation to participate in all components of Wayfinders programming (Residential,
  • Vocation, University Inclusion, Community Inclusion, Transition, Case Management)
    Is able to complete their daily needs (bathing, dressing, feeding,) access their physical environment, and safely function with minimal to no supervision
  • Is able to accurately and independently manage medications
  • Is able to communicate needs effectively
  • Has appropriate social behavior including getting along with peers, following rules, and accepting supervision
  • Is currently working, volunteering, or enrolled in high school, community college, or a training program
  • Has alternate residence for holiday breaks
  • Is free of any communicable diseases that are transmissible by casual contact, has all immunizations up to date, and has health insurance coverage
What makes Fresno State the ideal location for this kind of program?
  • CSUs are more affordable than UC schools
  • CSUs provide a more immersive and comprehensive higher education experience compared to most community colleges
  • Fresno State's core values of exploration, excellence, inclusion, and community
  • Fresno State's large rance of clubs and athletics
  • Fresno State's focus on community service
  • Fresno State's wide range of student success services such as the Center for Essential Needs, Student Cupboard, and Money Mangement Center
  • Wayfinders' close partnership with the Services for Students with Disabilities office
  • The cost of living in Fresno is up to 57% lower than other major cities in California
  • Fresno State National RankingsFresno State is ranked No. 54 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine in 2021 for its focus on social mobility, research, and service to the community. Fresno State is the only California State University to make the top 100.
  • Fresno State ranked No. 7 in MONEY Magazine’s 2020 Best Colleges rankings for Most Transformative Colleges.
    U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings#3 among public national universities for graduation-rate performance for the past five years
    • 21 in Top Performers in Social Mobility
    • #53 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
    • #107 among all national public universities
  • Fresno State is ranked No. 54 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine in 2021 for its focus on social mobility, research, and service to the community. Fresno State is the only California State University to make the top 100.

Will I earn a degree by attending Wayfinders?

No. Wayfinders participants do not earn a degree through Wayfinders. To earn a degree from Fresno State, an individual must meet Fresno State Admission Requirements, apply, and be accepted to Fresno State as an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.

Wayfinders participants earn a Certificate of Completion from our program. Having a Certificate of Completion from Wayfinders signifies that the individual has increased their level of independence through significant progress in maintaining a living space, personal finance, self-advocacy, academic exploration, competitive employability, and social competency.

Will I take classes at Fresno State while in the Wayfinders program?

Yes. Wayfinders participants enroll in Fresno State classes through Fresno State's Open Univeristy program, which permits members of the general community to take Fresno State classes after enrolled undergraduate/graduate students have registered and where space is still available in the class. Wayfinders students take a minimum of 6 units per semester, including Career Development. Students will work with staff on identifying classes of interest and develop a draft course schedule each semester. For more information about academics in the Wayfinders program, please see our University Inclusion page.

How long is the Wayfinders Program?

The duration of the program is 2 years. 

What are the start and finish dates of a program year?

Participants start August 1st and the program year ends on June 30th. Students return home for the month of July, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break. 

Can the student return home every weekend?

The Wayfinders program operates 7 days a week. The weekend may consist of residential workshops, academic tutorials, social activities, and work experience. If the student would like to visit home, they will need to submit a travel request 2 weeks prior to the date of travel. See the Sample Participant Schedule section above.

Do the Wayfinders' students live on the Fresno State campus?

No. Wayfinders' participants live at the Palazzo apartments, located right next to campus.

Is the Wayfinders program vendorized by the Regional Center?

Yes. If you are a client of a regional center, speak to your service coordinator about the possibility of your regional center providing funding for you to attend the program.

Can I enroll in Wayfinders if I am not a client of a Regional Center?

Yes. There is a private pay option.

Does Wayfinders offer 24/7 support?

No. Coaches are scheduled from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday and from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekends. Participants are not supervised after this time. However, there is a staff member on call after hours in the case of an emergency.