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 career certification program located on the main campus of Pensacola State College. The program provides learning on a college campus that focuses on career certification, increased independence, and preparation to enter the workforce.

PALS is designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who want to learn new skills and get a job. Most applicants would have received special education services in the K-12 setting through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan and exited their secondary school with a diploma, GED or certificate of completion.


Career Certification


 PALS offers a variety of career certification options such as:

  • Administrative Services
  • Auto Detailing
  • Carpentry Helper
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
  • Food Service
  • Horticulture Studies
  • Lawn Care & Maintenance
  • Retail Services

While most students will earn their certification in one year, the program does offer one semester certification tracks. Based on each student’s abilities, PALS staff are able to work the individual, PSC, and other agencies to develop and coordinate a plan for additional college courses that lead to other vocational certification and academic degrees.

Benefits to Students

  • High Quality Student Experiences
  • Professional Development
  • Clarified Career Goals
  • Workforce Readiness
  • Increased Independence
  • Career Success

How to apply:

Application Process

The application process is broken down into three steps.

Step 1: Complete the online application. This provides us with student information, interests, and abilities.

Step 2: A personal interview. This allows the applicant to become more familiar with the program and campus while giving the admissions committee the opportunity to get to know the potential student.

Step 3: Notification of Acceptance. This is the official letter mailed to the student letting them know if they are accepted into the program. Along with the letter is important information about required documentation, if applicable, and start dates.

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.

Is PALS for Me?


To ensure that PALS is the best option for each applicant, we require a completed application packet. Individuals wishing to apply to the program should possess a majority of the items listed below. Additional requirements for specific training programs may also be required.


  • Desire to obtain community-based employment upon completion of career certification
  • Ability to perform hygiene routine independently or has services to provide this support
  • Ability to manage medications or has services to provide this support
  • Ability to be unsupervised for an extended period of time on a college campus or in the community
  • Applicant does not exhibit disruptive behavior
  • Ability to communicate with others
  • Functional math skills
  • Functional reading skills by any mode
  • Functional writing skills or a mode to produce written material
  • Applicant has had prior vocational experiences that guided him or her to the chosen career path
  • Applicant must have a desire to get and keep a job following their career certification training
  • Applicant is 18 years or older (or will be 18 at the start of the training session)
  • Applicant has exited high school. Applicant can apply while in high school and remain in high school until the start of the training session.
  • Applicant has had satisfactory attendance at school and/or in other training programs
  • Applicant must be determined eligible based on criteria established under funding opportunity
  • Applicant can provide documentation for a diagnosis of a disability


Have Questions or Want to Schedule a Tour?

Contact the PALS team at 850.484.1185 or by email at

Be a Business Partner!

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


Click here for more details!

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

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