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STARKVILLE, Miss (WCBI) –  A program at Mississippi State University is giving young adults with intellectual disabilities a chance to gain some independence.

The Access program is in its third year at MSU and it is the only one of its kind on a college campus in the state.

Access coordinator Brecken Rush says, “It was created to fill a void for students who don’t graduate with a diploma; who graduate with a certificate or a Mississippi occupational diploma because they’re not regularly admissible to Mississippi State.”

The students in the class get lessons in life skills and money management. Rush adds, “We teach socialization skills. They learn things like how to use the bus system; how to go to Wal-Mart and do grocery lists; how to cook and how to wash clothes….anything that makes them independent.”

Rush says though the students in the Access class spend most of their time together, they are not isolated from the rest of the campus.  She says, “We have several baseball players and even football players who come in and volunteer with them.”

After four years, the Access students graduate with a certificate from Mississippi State.

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