Impact Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities

Survey Findings on College Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (sidebar)

In 2009, Think College conducted a national online survey of postsecondary education programs to identify existing services for students with intellectual disabilities. There were 149 program respondents from 37 states. Key findings included the following (the number of respondents is in parentheses – response rate varied by question):

Types of Programs

  • 50% were at four-year colleges or universities, 40% at two-year colleges, and 10% at trade/technical schools (N=135)
  • 45% served only adults, 26% served dually-enrolled students, and 29% served both groups (N=118)

 Admissions and Fees

  • 60% indicated students with intellectual disabilities were formally enrolled (N=143)
  • 56% had special entrance criteria (N=149)
  • 71% indicated students do not take the college course placement test (N=132)
  • 78% did not charge students or families fees for additional services related to students with intellectual disabilities (N=129)

Course Access

  • 75% offered other instruction or social events specifically for students with intellectual disabilities (N=129)
  • 75% indicated students with intellectual disabilities participate in group instruction or activities only with other students with intellectual disabilities (N=129)
  • 53% indicated students access courses through the typical registration process (N=130)

Access to Disability, Housing and Other Services and Supports

  • 58% received services from the college's disability office (N=128)
  • 39% offered residential options (N=123)
  • 49% indicated students had person-centered planning (N=115)

Note: These findings represent only the programs that responded to the survey, and are not representative of every program serving students with intellectual disabilities in the U.S. Also, responses indicated that programs vary considerably in terms of level of student integration, access to typical courses, services, and the level of involvement of disability services, if at all.