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Think Cardinal - We Inspire

Why should you Think Cardinal?

ThinkCardinal is a pathway for students with an intellectual disability, as defined by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008), to have an inclusive college experience at Saginaw Valley State University. All courses and co-curricular experiences offered to ThinkCardinal participants are open to all SVSU students. This program leverages a peer mentoring model to provide supports on campus where they are needed. Ultimately, our goal is to see students develop both personally and professionally, gain confidence in themselves and their skills, and establish a sense of community and support – many of the same goals we have for any college student.


Prospective Students:

Prospective students should start by filling out an application and making arrangements to meet with the program coordinator.

To qualify for admission under this pathway to SVSU, students must have a documented intellectual or developmental disability. If the student has completed a high school diploma as well as a college entrance exam (SAT or ACT) then they can also be considered for degree seeking admission to SVSU. An informal interview is required as part of the admission process and so that participants and their families have clear expectations.

To begin your application, please CLICK HERE.

Program Coordinator: Katrina Sanders
Phone Number: 989-964-4163

Admission Criteria:

In order to join SVSU in the ThinkCardinal pathway the following requirements must be met:

  • Students must have a Certificate of Attendance or Completion from their high school.
  • Students must be comfortable sitting in an academic setting for extended periods of time (typically 1-3 hours depending on the course) while being respectful to other class members and the instructor.
  • Students should be comfortable to safely navigate campus to find classrooms and different campus locations.
  • Students must complete a program application.
  • Student will submit two letters of recommendation from people that have known them in an academic setting.
  • Resume
  • Complete an interview with program coordinator.
  • Student will enroll with SVSU’s Office of Disability Services to aid with classroom accommodations where necessary.
  • Transportation to/from campus is the responsibility of the student and/or caregivers.
  • Student must be independent in handling his or her own medication. There are not any program staff available to administer medication to students.


Year One

HUM 191 - College Transition
Academic Course of Interest
Extra-curricular activity of choice
FIT at College (healthy living workshop for all students)

Academic Course of Interest
KINE Activity course
Extra-curricular activity of choice
Internship Experience 1

Year Two

Academic Course of Interest
KINE Activity course
Extra-curricular activity of choice

Academic Course of Interest
KINE Activity course
Extra-curricular activity of choice
Internship Experience 2


Testimonials - Think Cardinal

"Coming to SVSU has taught me all about Cardinal Pride.  It means setting big goals, working hard every day, and making a LOT of new friends.  I love being independent and making choices for myself.  I have confidence that I can get a job and live on my own some day.  SVSU helped my dreams come true." - Luke Drumright

Sample Course Schedule

Contact Us

(989) 964-4000(989) 964-4000
(989) 790-0180


7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00 am until 4:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am until 6:00 pm