500X330_Pragmatic_IntroEducation is a foundation that enables anyone to have a successful career and life. The University of St. Thomas Associate of Applied Science in Pragmatic Studies is a two-year program designed specifically for students who have learning differences that may interfere with academic success in a traditional collegiate setting

Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an instructional modality, students in this program will spend 12-15 hours per week in the classroom with a cohort of 12-15 students, which will allow for more personalized instruction.

The Associate of Applied Science in Pragmatic Studies prepares and influences socially responsible citizens who will transform and sustain communities. Graduates will possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to meet postsecondary goals and increase employment outcomes. Graduates will also demonstrate that learning differences will no longer be an obstacle for success.

PIDD Program

PIDD ProgramThe Physically and Intellectually Developmentally Disabled (PIDD) initiative was developed for people who march to their own proverbial drummers; this population is full of the most creative people on the planet with the best ideas! This program was specifically designed to address those of us who learn differently and have innovative business ideas with the initiative and gumption to build those ideas into realities.

We have created a partnership between the Kolbe School of Innovation and the McNair Institute to teach entrepreneurial skills and business sense to people with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.

Learning objectives include:

  1. Recognizing entrepreneurial opportunities for new business ventures
  2. Communicating effectively and professionally in business situations
  3. Leading by using team building skills and facilitating collaborative behaviors
  4. Demonstrating good work habits, time management and self-discipline
  5. Understanding business ethics and issues of social responsibility

Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL), facilitators will teach students the "ins-and-outs" of creating and running an effective business. Instruction takes place over the course of 10 weeks using multiple modalities so that all learning styles are supported.

Universal Design For Learning (UDL)

 500X330_Pragmatic_UDLUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional methodology that rests on three student-centered principles: engagement of the learner, representation of the material, and action/ expression to demonstrate understanding. Engagement requires educators to motivate learners to persist in the learning process. Student interest and proclivity must be taken into account when designing learning materials, and at times it is most appropriate to encourage the learner to assist in that instructional design. Representation is focused on how that information is then presented to the learner so that maximum learning and knowledge acquisition can take place. 

This means material will be taught by multiple means to facilitate all types of learners.  For example, some students may learn best by having material read to them aloud and other students may learn best through kinesthetic means where they actually interact with the course itself. Finally, students demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the course material through different expressions of that knowledge. Some students may present projects, others may present Story Boards, and others may use technology to create an audio-visual representation of the material. Using UDL will facilitate learning for all students in the most inclusive form possible; any and all options are integrated into the courses themselves using UDL principles to support all students.