PSP Logo: Coconut tree and education building

The Postsecondary Support Project

Inclusive Postsecondary Education Access and Support for Students with Disabilities​

About The Postsecondary Support Project

The Postsecondary Support Project (PSP) provides supplemental support for students with significant learning challenges in an inclusive environment. The University of Hawaiʻi (UH) System is at the forefront of the movement to include and support students with significant disabilities, including intellectual/developmental disabilities, to pursue their own college journeys. Our mission is to support students to gain self determination and employment skills, while earning useful college educations.

Project Goals

  • Assist participants to transition from secondary to college or university.
  • Deliver quality coaching support to prepare students for success in academics, employment, and independent living.
  • Assist students to learn self determination skills as they prepare for independent adult roles in their communities.
  • Support students through Person Centered Planning to set and achieve goals each semester.
  • Support students to develop the skills and experience they will need to transition from college to the workforce.

Eligibility Critieria

PSP Applicants should have:

  • An informed desire to go to college.
  • Motivation to enroll, attend, and work hard in college classes.
  • A commitment to complete college coursework and PSP expectations. 
  • A desire to grow and prepare for independence and self determination.
  • A goal to be employed. 
  • Sufficient independence and ability to self-regulate in classes.
  • Have a qualifying disability or DDD/DVR referral.

Program Support and Expectations

The PSP is designed for college students with unmet support needs. The students we work with enter college through the existing application process and usually take college courses for grade. PSP can support students at any UH system campus statewide. UH System Community Colleges are open-enrollment institutions. Though inclusive PSP programs are not yet available at UH System Universities, we do support eligible students who meet University admission requirements.

While the PSP does not provide funding for tuition or supplies, we can assist students to apply and advocate for available support from other sources. PSP is funded by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Department of Health-Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD), and Federal Grants. Private pay options are available depending on student eligibility.

Key Components


An Agenda for Self Determination​

PSP Staff are highly trained to apply the SELF-AREA Self Determination model. Our coaches focus on helping students understand and practice their skills and capacities for Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Self-Efficacy, Self-Advocacy, Problem Solving, Goal Setting, and Decision Making.

Two people walking: one student one coach

Educational Coaching

Students meet weekly with a PSP Coach to work on a variety of topics that are relevant to the needs of the student. Coaches support pre-enrollment and enrollment activities, access to “Front Door” supports, provide adaptive support, and offer coaching and feedback to increase self-determination, and self- advocacy skills.

We're hiring sign in front of computer application

Employment Preparation and Exploration

Employment preparation and career exploration are at the core of the PSP project. Students work with coaches and support staff to develop the skills needed to work in a competitive work setting.


A Meaningful Certificate

We hope students will aim to achieve a formal college-issued certificate or degree. However, upon successful completion of academic and project requirements, participants may also earn Certificates in Academic and Career Studies, and Self Determination Preparation issued by the UH Mānoa Center on Disability Studies.

Student Perspectives

Click through the testimonials to learn about student perspectives on PSP: 

Camp Mānoa - Self Determination Training!

Each summer, the PSP also offers a 4-day/3-night Self Determination Camp on the UH Mānoa Campus. More information on Camp Mānoa 2024 coming soon!

Contact Us!

Eric Folk, MEd
Principal Investigator
(808) 372-8220

Marla Arquero, MSW, LCSW
Project Coordinator
(808) 956-0883

PSP Project, Center on Disability Studies
1410 Lower Campus Road 171F
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822