SCC Hosts SUSD’s SCORE Program for Expanded Vocational and Higher Education Accessibility

Wednesday, February 21, 2024
SCC SUSD SCORE student Bailey Beckstead

Scottsdale Community College recently began hosting the Scottsdale Unified School District’s SCORE Program, which stands for Scottsdale Community Opportunities for Real-World Education. The program’s purpose is to provide hands-on work and educational experiences for neurodiverse individuals, up to age 22.

The SCORE program connects with students, their families, community agencies, and Vocational Rehabilitation to create a custom plan that bridges high school students with future career opportunities. As these students have completed their high school requirements, having this initiative located on a college campus provides a natural next step in the student’s journey to employment and adulthood.

“The SCORE program perfectly aligns with SCC’s mission to expand higher education accessibility to underserved populations,” says Dr. Eric Leshinskie, president of Scottsdale Community College. “The students are gaining real-world experience and skills working in occupational fields that will provide meaningful careers.”

“The SCORE program is unlike any other, and we are so grateful for the partnership that’s been forged with SCC to host it and our students,” says Dr. Scott Menzel, Scottsdale Unified’s superintendent. “It embodies the very essence of inclusion, where every individual is valued for their unique abilities and contributions, helping foster a community where diversity thrives.”

At SCC, the SUSD students are receiving vocational training and other skills, like communication and teamwork, at Artie’s Cafe, the College’s student cafeteria, and the Artichoke Grill, the on-campus student-operated restaurant that’s part of SCC’s renowned Culinary Program. SCORE students also participate in internships and work experiences at other local businesses, providing well-rounded occupational development.

Transition Fair on March 7

SCC is hosting a Transition Fair to spotlight local services and resources to help neurodiverse students transition from high school to adulthood. The event features many local agencies and organizations in one place so that families, caregivers and students can learn about the options that exist for special education students to further their education, train for and enter into the workforce, as well as options for housing, public transportation, and health services.

The Fair runs 4:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, at SCC’s Indigenous Cultural Center (Room ICC-222). For more information, contact SUSD’s Special Education Department at (480) 484-5075 or

About Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) is student-centered with a focus on active, engaged, and intellectually rigorous learning. The College is known for high-quality, accessible educational opportunities and innovative teaching, learning, and support services. SCC serves about 10,000 students a year, offering more than 100 degrees and 60 certificates of completion in diverse occupational areas. At only $97 per credit hour, SCC is one of the most affordable colleges in Maricopa County, and the average class size is only 16 students. SCC is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the traditional lands of the O'odham and Piipaash peoples. For more information, phone (480) 423-6700.

About Scottsdale Unified School District

With more than 21,000 students in 30 schools, the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has been a premier choice for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public education for 127 years. Located northeast of metropolitan Phoenix, the District serves the educational needs of students and families in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Tempe and Scottsdale. A highly experienced, professionally certified teaching staff fosters a diverse and rigorous educational environment that engages all students in world-class, future-focused learning. Offering gifted learning, special education, career and technical education, and a variety of athletics, arts and enrichment programs and clubs, SUSD provides the rich environment today’s students need to explore their interests, develop important social skills and grow into tomorrow’s leaders. For more information, visit