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USC’s Students


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Eager to transition to adult life

Our young adult students
Urban Skills Center educates up to 25 young adults with disabilities, age 18 – 22. Some of our students are studying to complete a high school education. All of our students are acquiring important social, vocational, and independent living skills that are designed to optimize their post-school employment and living options.

Autism ● Asperger Syndrome ● ADD/ADHD ● Learning Disabilities ● Medical disorders ● Developmental Disabilities ● Behavior & Emotional Disabilities● Multiple Disabilities

An extension of COOK Education Center and more
Most Urban Skills Center students are educated on contract with San Diego area school districts, each of which establishes course and credit criteria that our students must meet. Typically, our students transition to us from COOK Education Center, where many have already earned a portion of the credits they need to graduate. Attending COOK Education Center is not a requirement for enrollment in the Urban Skills Center, and, each year, a few students enroll from other public and private schools in the San Diego area.


“We really want to be successful.”

Common challenges
Urban Skills Center students tend to have good basic communication skills and many have already made some progress toward completing their high school course of study; however, they experience certain common challenges, which makes completing high school and preparing for adult life challenging. They tend to require intensive instruction including many practice opportunities in order to master new skills.

Our students tend to have difficulty communicating when they are asked to do a task that is too hard for them or when they are given a direction they do not understand. Consequently, how to advocate for oneself, including specifying the accommodations needed in order to be successful, is critical to the future success of our students.

A Zero-tolerance school
Urban Skills Center is a “zero tolerance” school. We do not enroll students who have been expelled for weapons or drug possession. We do not enroll students who are known to commit sexual assault, animal cruelty, or fire setting.

"You have the most positive schools I've ever seen!" State Department of Education site reviewer