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OLS Overview

The OLS prospective student:

OLS student are ‘tweeners”. They are adults with a disabilty that are often overlooked as potential college students. Some take a couple of college courses and drop out because a traditional college classroom does not work for their learning styles, while others are in a pattern of being hired and fired because they may not “fit in” to the work culture of a business. Most are having difficulties finding employment and might be struggling with what to do next.  This group of potential college students want and need access to a college education!

Prospective student characteristics:


·         May have attended college classes, but did not succeed in the traditional college setting

·         Work or volunteer

·         Difficulty with soft skills in everyday life

·         Desire to obtain a college education

·         Can critically think and problem solve

·         Participates in conversations

·         Makes personal decisions

·         Technology savvy - including MS Word, internet and e-mail use

·         Communicates personal knowledge and personal opinion

Types of disabilities:

Most OLS students have multiple disabilities. Examples of disabilities include Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD), generalized learning disabilities, ADHD, Anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury, sight impairment, aspergers, and autism. The type of learner at OLS is more important than the disability to our instructors and staff.  The type of learner directs our specialized instruction and universal design of our curriculum.

Program Fact:

OLS is an Associate Degree in Occupation and Life Skills (AOLS)

Bellevue College Professional Technical degree, non-transferable to other colleges

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Completion of 90 credits is required for degree

52 total courses, 43 required to graduate

OLS course are for admitted students into OLS

Cohorts of 12 students admitted each fall quarter

Early application due date is April 15th, regular application due date July 15th   

Selective admissions process

State and federal financial aid available which is completed through Bellevue College.