The mission of the College of Adaptive Arts (CAA) is to provide an equitable collegiate experience to special needs adults who historically have not had access to a college education. CAA is an institution of higher education where students, mostly aged between 18-24 years old, have opportunities to learn from a diverse and rich curriculum. It operates like a typical community college offering courses tailored to special needs adults in performance arts (theatre, music, dance, fine arts), liberal arts (communications, business), science, and technology.
The College is located at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. Being headquartered on a community college campus provides students the opportunity to experience a complete collegiate experience. CAA's academic year consists for four quarters and students select from more than 50 weekly courses within ten schools of instruction. The goal is to provide both a curriculum and inter-personal experiences that will help graduates to live a full and empowered life as contributing members of the community. CAA’s vision for its future is to become as widespread and robust in the education field as the Special Olympics is to athletics.
Like any college, CAA charges student tuition. Many, but not all, of their students qualify for tuition assistance from California’s Regional Center funding program for students with disabilities. Those who do not qualify or who come from out of state may apply for scholarships to help pay tuition fees. A recent Farrington grant underwrote the cost of tuition scholarships for CAA students. The funds enabled CAA to offer scholarships to nine eager students. In the 2021 school year, CAA increased enrollment overall from 118 to 160 students, thereby opening the doors to a college education for many more very special adult learners.