Texas Tech University — Project CASE

Project CASE

photo of John Garbutt at work
John Garbutt, a Washington state native and freshman Biology and Chemistry major at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, is a participant in Project CASE and is preparing for a career in epidemiology.

  • Impact
    • 43 students received CASE services
      • 23 students graduated from a postsecondary education program
      • 3 students transferred from a 2-Year to a 4-Year institution
      • 3 Students attended graduate school (2 earned graduate degrees)
    • 27 students completed business Internships
    • 25 participants became competitively employed
    • 2.997 average GPA for students enrolled in the program
    • 53% graduation rate (over double the national average for students with developmental disabilities (DD))
    • 74.42% retention rate was observed for CASE students (higher than the Texas state average for all college students)

Statewide Need
All people with disabilities in Texas should have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential for independence, productivity, and integration into the community. Education is a lifelong process which is vital to attaining a full and complete life. The postsecondary results of an appropriate public-school education for students with disabilities should be evidenced by employment, enrollment in postsecondary education, or both within one year of leaving high school. The Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 included provisions to assure equal college opportunities for students with disabilities, but the Act does not appear to have resulted in a significant increase in programs in Texas.

Project Goal
Create a sustainable higher education model to help students with DD, aged 18–25, further their education beyond high school and secure meaningful paid employment.

Project Summary
Project CASE (Connections for Academic Success and Employment) provided opportunities for students to explore career pathways and take part in internships as they pursued a vocational or technical certification or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Students met at least monthly with a wraparound team identified by a CASE specialist. The team helped the student understand their strengths, identify their needs, develop problem-solving skills, set goals, and ensured the appropriate supports were available to help navigate college. Wraparound team members also worked with employers and campus career services to prepare students to locate internships and potential jobs, prepare resumes, and practice interviewing skills.

The project was developed as a sustainable, replicable model, and, in addition to presenting the project at 10 national and state conferences, program staff also presented the model at a variety of recruitment and transition events across Texas. Project CASE continues to operate through Texas Tech University as the CASE program.

Project Period
Oct 2011 – Sep 2016

P.O. Box 41071, MS 1071
Lubbock, TX 79409

Geographic Reach

shape of state of Texas colored orange