Inclusive Postsecondary Education

National

Inclusive Postsecondary Education is also referred to as Inclusive Higher Education. These are programs that provide access to people with intellectual disabilities to postsecondary education. 

Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and TPSID Grants

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 opened doors to a college experience for students with intellectual disabilities. Model Demonstration Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, often referred to as TPSID grants, are funded under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). These discretionary funds were specifically earmarked to provide grants to institutions of higher education or universities, state, and career and technical colleges, to facilitate the creation and expansion of high quality, inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability. In 2015, the second iteration of TPSID grants and Think College, National Coordinating Center, were funded through 2020. In 2020, the third iteration of TPSID grants were awarded and the complete list may be found on the U.S. DOE’s Office of Postsecondary Education TPSID Awards page.

What is CTP?
Simply, a CTP is a federal accreditation of high-quality access to college for students with an intellectual disability.

Comphrehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs (CTPs) are defined in HEOA as a degree, certificate or non-degree program that is:

  • offered by an institution of higher education;
  • designed to support students with [an intellectual disability] who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction at an institution of higher education in order to prepare for gainful employment; and
  • includes an advising and curriculum structure.
For more information on inclusive higher education across the country, please visit ThinkCollege!. Think College is the national coordinating center for TPSIDs and is a clearinghouse of information and resources on inclusive postsecondary education. For a quick national picture of inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disability, check out ThinkCollege’s Publications webpage. ThinkCollege! also provides a database of existing programs throughout the nation and searchable by state at https://thinkcollege.net/college-search.    


State

The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA)
Signed into law by Florida’s governor on January 23, 2016, the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program Act (the Act) (FS 1004.6495) established the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities at the University of Central Florida (the Center) and charged the Center with managing the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) application and approval process. The Act also established criteria for FPCTP approval, scholarship awards for eligible students to attend approved programs, grant awards to promote new program development and existing program enhancements, and accountability requirements associated with these opportunities.

The FCSUA, located at the University of Central Florida, was created by the Florida Legislature in 2016. The purpose of the center is to increase independent living, inclusive and experiential postsecondary education and employment opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. Funding is available to help colleges set up new programs and also for student scholarships to attend these programs. There are several important distinctions between TPSID and FCSUA funding opportunities. FCSUA policies require the following:

  •  Students must have exited from the K-12 system to be eligible for FCSUA scholarships.
  •  Students may exceed the age of 22 and remain eligible for an FCSUA scholarship.
  •  Postsecondary programs must have Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) status or be in the application process to be eligible to receive grant funding.
  •  Postsecondary programs must also be accessible to students who have exited the K-12 system.  The FCSUA website (https://fcsua.org/E_postsecondary.php) provides a listing and map of postsecondary education programs that serve students with intellectual disabilities in Florida, which includes the approved Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Programs (FPCTPs), as well as those not approved as such. For more information, visit www.FCSUA.org.     

The FCSUA website provides a listing and map of postsecondary education programs that serve students with intellectual disbilities in Florida, which includes the approved Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Programs (FCTPs), as well as those not approved as such.
For more information, visit www.FCSUA.org.

Resources

Credential Guidance Briefs 
The Florida IPSE Credential Guidance Brief Series was developed in 2019 by the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education (FCIHE) (TPSID model demonstration project from 2015-2020) in collaboration with Community and State Agencies through an FCIHE Work Group and the FCIHE Credential Steering Committee.  This series is the result of 4 years of work, research, and experience in developing and helping other institutions develop inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs, programs of study, and the pursuant credentials. The series is directed specifically to secondary educators; transition specialists, ESE directors, and postsecondary educators; faculty, student disability office personnel, and IPSE program staff. Additionally, briefs #1 through #4 provide information that students and families should find very useful.

Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities
This document was released September 17, 2019 by the US Education Department, as a question/answer format, to clarify 4 target areas of postsecondary education for this population:

  • Enrollment opportunities in postsecondary education programs for high school students with disabilities;
  • Enrollment opportunities in postsecondary education programs for young adults with disabilities, who have exited the high school;
  • Coordination of services, funded by IDEA and VR, students with disabilities may receive when attending a postsecondary education program;
  • Access to financial aid for students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in comprehensive transition and postsecondary education programs.
Postsecondary Education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)  
Universal Design for Learning for Postsecondary Education (UDL) is a new online module developed using UDL principles to teach postsecondary educators the concepts, strategies, and benefits of UDL.

Questions and Answers About the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This is a listing of over 20 questions relating to the FAFSA. 

Think College's I College Search
Think College Search features colleges and universities that offer postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disability. Users of this searchable online database can filter by state, length of program, type of school, options for living on campus, and more.

Students with Intellectual Disability taking College Courses? Sure! But How Do We Do It?
This 2019 webinar was hosted by the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education (FCIHE), a TPSID model demonstration project funded from 2015-2021. Faculty from three different institutions of higher education address the challenges and practical solutions for faculty and by faculty to engage and teach students with intellectual disabilities in postsecondary courses. Topics covered include: course content and student learning outcomes, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), navigating classroom behavior, student contracts, student accountability, and student assessment.   

What is CPT What is a CTP and FPCTP and Why are they Important?
This brief provides a 2-page overview of the Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program (CTP) and Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) certifications and includes resources for further information.