Background Image Alternative Text: Alumna Wanda Dean with ACCESS students on campus.


With the establishment of ACCESS in 2010, MSU placed itself among a select group of institutions nationally that are working to overcome one of the last remaining hurdles in education and civil rights – the transition of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) into post-secondary institutions. ACCESS is the only post-secondary program in the state of Mississippi that allows students with intellectual or developmental disabilities the opportunity to truly have the full, inclusive college experience!   

MSU ACCESS is a 4-year, residential post-secondary college program dedicated to ensuring students with ID/DD receive a quality postsecondary education through inclusive experiences in academics, socialization, career development, and independent living. ACCESSS students have a goal of becoming gainfully employed and living as independently as possible in their communities. Upon completion of ACCESS, students will graduate with a Mississippi State University Certification of Completion with an Area of Focus.


The services provided by ACCESS are constructed to ensure that students with ID or DD can enroll in the University, participate fully in all aspects of college life, graduate from the program, transition to their own chosen employment and living situations, and become proficient in self-advocacy and self-determination.

Four Components of ACCESS

ACCESS strives to provide the full college experience to students with ID/DD while focusing on four main components that help ensure successful futures:

  1. Academics
  2. Career development
  3. Independent living
  4. Socialization