Feature Issue on Inclusive Higher Education for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities
Current projects of Think College
National Coordinating Center for Transition Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) (2010-2025)
The National Coordinating Center offers support, coordination, training, and evaluation services for Transition and Postsecondary Education Program (TPSID) grantees, as well as other programs for students with intellectual disabilities, families, and students nationwide.
Funded by the Office of Postsecondary Education at the US Department of Education, Grant #P407B200001, FY2021-2025
Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network (2021-2024)
The Network disseminates research and best practices related to improving inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability, helps colleges and universities develop and expand postsecondary education programs; promotes positive academic, social, independent living, and self-advocacy outcomes for students with ID; and supports faculty, campus service providers, and families to meet the needs of students with ID.
Funded by the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (Grant No.: P407C210001).
Transition Leadership Graduate Degree/Certification Program (2012-2022)
The Transition Leadership program is designed to prepare initially or professionally licensed professionals who wish to obtain an education specialist endorsement in transition services. The courses are taught online with an on-site practicum and strong mentoring relationships. Scholarships are available to scholars who support students identified as having low-incidence disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, autism, sensory impairments, and traumatic brain injury.
Funded by Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education, Grant #H325K160082
Future Quest Island-Explorations (2018-2023)
FQI-E is an engaging game-based online curriculum focusing on college and career awareness using the evidenced-based “Possible Selves” framework to support improved self-concept, social and emotional competence, and early college and career awareness for elementary students in grades 3-5 with and without disabilities.
Funded by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 2018-2023
Moving Transition Forward (2019-2022)
This project examines the composition and impact of existing transition practices via a series of research studies that involve secondary analysis of two national datasets.
Funded by Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), Special Education Research Grants competition, Award number: R324A190085
MA Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) (2012 – 2022)
This project provides training and technical assistance (TTA) to staff of statewide MAICEI partnerships- college program coordinators, faculty, special education and transition staff, educational coaches and mentors.
Funded by MA Department of Higher Education
MA Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative UMB (2017 – 2022)
An inclusive dual enrollment partnership between local school districts in the Boston area and the UMB. Staff oversee activities that support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to include college and campus activities in their transition services.
Funded by MA Department of Higher Education
Florida Project: College Matters (2018-2022)
Identify barriers and solutions to support the growth of inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual and developmental disability in Florida.
Funded by Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
Resources for Students and Families
Conducting a College Search: Find a Program
Think College Search features more than 300 colleges and universities that offer postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disability. Users can filter by state, length of program, housing options, and more.
Conducting a College Search: Questions to Ask
This guide covers what students and families need to know to make informed choices about college programs. It covers topics such as admissions, tuition, academics, housing, supports, outcomes, and career development.
Voices of Experience: Students Share College Search Advice
This how-to brochure shares insight directly from five former college students, with tips on making time for studying and socializing, and on choosing a program that truly includes students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life.
Resources for Evaluating Programs
Think College: Program Accreditation
This page offers tools for understanding accreditation standards, including a self-assessment and evidence checklists. There is a glossary from the University of New Hampshire discussing digital badging and micro credentials in inclusive higher education.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
This website offers news, publications, and other resources on accreditation in general higher education.
Self-Advocate’s Guide to Choosing a Postsecondary Program
This guide from the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities is for students and their families as they consider what type of higher education programs are right for them.
Resources for Starting Programs
The Nuts [and] Bolts of Inclusive Higher Education Programs
In this video , panelists share how they managed various aspects of building inclusive higher education programs, from course access to housing and funding. Learn what it takes to build and maintain a successful program on a college campus.
Resources for Parents
Pacer’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment
This site lists resources on inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability. It includes a fact sheet on outcomes, and a 36-minute film about four students participating in inclusive college programs. It also features insight from parent leaders who helped establish postsecondary education programs for students with IDD.
Families Think College
This is a Facebook group forum for families of children with intellectual disability or autism who may be interested in going to college. It currently has about 2,000 members.
Financing Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability
This fact sheet from the University of Massachusetts Boston lists federal, state, and foundation resources for navigating the financial side of higher education programs.
Resources for Accessing Programs
Campus Disability Resource Database
This searchable database lists disability-related information from degree-granting colleges and universities across the United States.
National Organizations Working on Disability and Higher Education
This list of organizations is from the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, based at the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). It includes organizations working broadly in the field of all disabilities.
Resources for Promoting Inclusive Higher Education
The Lawrence B. Taishoff Center
This site offers news and resources on inclusive higher education, including links to financial aid, research, and listings of other organizations working in the field.
Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability
This site contains the grantee abstracts for programs receiving TPSID funds.
Colleges Prep Students with Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities for Jobs
This NPR segment features the University of Northern Colorado’s inclusive higher education program. Brendan Balmes, a student who has Down syndrome, talks about his internship with a brewery. Margaret Nygren, head of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, shares that people who participate in inclusive higher education programs have higher employment rates than those who do not.
Opening Doors to College
This 36-minute film by Dan Habib highlights the growing number of colleges across the United States that are opening doors to higher education for students with intellectual disability. Several individual students are profiled throughout the film.