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Inclusive Postsecondary Education

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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

In Florida,there are two related initiatives that support students with intellectual disabilities to gain access to postsecondary education. 

Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education (FCIHE) 
The Florida Consortium is a partnership between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP), Florida International University (FIU) and the Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ). The Consortium was funded in 2015 as a Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) model demonstration site over five (5) years (October 2015-September 2020) through a federal grant authorized by the HEOA of 2008. In TPSID programs, students with intellectual disabilities study alongside nondisabled peers on a college campus. Students may take courses, practice social skills and learn employability skills while engaging with others in a college environment. Inclusion with same-age peers, better access to employment opportunities and improving their independent living skills are among the goals of students with intellectual disabilities attending college. Students who earn a standard diploma based on the access curriculum are eligible to apply. The Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education (FCIHE) was charged with increasing access to and engagement in college coursework and college life culminating in a chosen career path and competitive employment for individuals with an intellectual disability. For more information, visit www.FCIHE.com.
Please note that the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education’s funding is ending. Select resources and information remain available until March 2021. Many of the resources and information developed by the FCIHE have been retained on the Project 10 website.
Inclusive postsecondary programs in Florida are listed on the “Promising Practices Transition Sites” webpage of Project 10 (http://project10.info/DPage.php?ID=74).

The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA)
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

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.
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.

 

The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).

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