The Arc Gateway

Program for Adult Learning and Support (PALS)

at Pensacola State College

The Arc Gateway Program for Adult Learning and Support (PALS) is a two year post-secondary program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities made possible by an appropriation from the State of Florida.  The program gives students the opportunity to go to college, learn new skills, explore new careers, prepare for employment and ultimately gain more independence.  Our goal is to provide substantial and relevant learning experiences, within an inclusive educational setting, that lead to meaningful employment. 


PALS consists of a total of four semesters, plus summer practicums.  Students take courses in career exploration, vocational training, independent living skills and workplace readiness academics along with one regular college course per semester.  The program is designed to prepare students for the workforce, increase independence and become lifelong learners connected to the community.  Graduates will exit the program ready to live and work independently.  


The specific areas of study include:


Academics where students participate in at least one regularly scheduled college level or post-secondary adult vocational class.  These may e taken for credit or audited for non-credit.  Students' interests and career ambitions would determine that selection of specific courses, in addition to workplace readiness academics.


Independent Living Skills address the desire of students to function as independent adults.  Structured course work would include but not limited to:  Money and basic financial literacy skills, problem solving, cooking and food shopping, community awareness, computer and internet skills, safety, personal health, and exploring recreational activities.


Customized Career Exploration and Technical Training where students will initially complete career exploration activities designed to refine their interests and career goals by direct contact with industry and business partners in the form of field trips, job shadowing and short-term internships.  During the second portion, students select their career path for specific targeted training.


Benefits to Students

  • High Quality Student Experiences
  • Professional Development
  • Clarified Career Goals
  • Workforce Readiness
  • Business Connections
  • Career Success

Be a Business Partner!

Interested in becoming a PALS business partner or hosting an intern?


Click here for more details!

How to apply:

Application Process

  1. Complete Online Application
  2. Gather School Records & Diploma
  3. Gather One Professional Letter of Recommendation
  4. Gather Two Personal Letters of Recommendation
  5. Submit application packet, records and letters to PALS
  6. Complete any required assessments
  7. Attend Personal Interview

Admission Criteria

  • Attended High School 
  • At least 18 years old
  • Want to attend College
  • Eligible to receive services from APD or a child of a veteran living at home in Florida

For assistance or additional information, please contact a PALS representative at 850.484.1185 or 

Sponsored by The Arc Gateway, Inc. and the

State of Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Now Hiring MATES (Mentors Assisting Through Educational Support)

Assist in campus and community inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. MATES play an integral part in helping PALS students achieve their academic, personal, social, and lifelong goals. MATES may partner with PALS students in one or more of the following areas: Campus Clubs, Events, Exercise, Lunch, On the Job Training (Internships), Planning, and Studying.

Constant Contact

Sign up for Newsletter and Program Updates!

The Arc Gateway is a proud partner agency of the United Way of Escambia County

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© The Arc Gateway, Inc.
3932 N. 10th Ave., Pensacola FL 32503
P: 850-434-2638, F: 850-438-2180