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How Higher Education is Possible for Students with Intellectual Disabilities: An Overview of New Provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and Highlights of Current Programs and Practices. Mary Eaddy, Director, PRO-Parents of SC

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How Higher Education is Possible for Students with Intellectual Disabilities: An Overview of New Provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and Highlights of Current Programs and Practices

Mary Eaddy, Director, PRO-Parents of SC

Meg Grigal, Ph.D, Principal Investigator, PERC; Co-PI Center on Postsecondary Education and Students with ID-TransCen, Inc., MD

Sharon Lewis, Senior Disability Policy Advisor to Chairman George Miller, House Education and Labor Committee, DC

January 28, 2009

OSEP National Parent Center Conference

Crystal City Virginia

session goals
Session Goals

Overview of current services in PSE for students with ID

Review new amendments in the HEOA 2008

Discuss new funding initiatives

Highlight current programs and services in South Carolina

Discuss the role of Parent Training Centers in developing and expanding PSE Options

current forms of access
Current forms of access

Dual enrollment (18-21)

Part time access to existing PSE options

Full time participation in a designated program

Can be school system sponsored or college initiated

postsecondary education models
Postsecondary Education Models

Approximately 150 programs in US

  • Mixed/Hybrid: 57%
  • Separate: 38 %
  • Inclusive Individual Support Model: 4.8%
summary of heoa provisions for students with intellectual disabilities
Summary of HEOA Provisions for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Allows students with ID enrolled in programs for such students to access work-study jobs, Pell grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
  • Authorizes inclusive model comprehensive transition and post-secondary programs
  • Authorizes new coordinating center

Need for Change

  • Students with ID can not access financial aid
  • Little consistency or standards in programs/services
  • Access is dependent upon availability
definition of a student with an intellectual disability
Definition of a Student with an Intellectual Disability

A student—

‘‘(A) with mental retardation or a cognitive impairment,

characterized by significant limitations in—

‘‘(i) intellectual and cognitive functioning; and

‘‘(ii) adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual,

social, and practical adaptive skills; and

‘‘(B) who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a

free appropriate public education under the Individuals

with Disabilities Education Act.

Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities Definition

A degree, certificate, or nondegree program that is—

(A) offered by an institution of higher education;

(B) designed to support students with intellectual disabilities 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;

(C) includes an advising and curriculum structure;

program requirements
Program Requirements

Requires students with ID to participate on not less than a half-time basis, as determined by the institution. Focusing one or more of the following activities:

  • Enrollment in credit-bearing courses with nondisabled students
  • Auditing or participating in courses with nondisabled students
  • Enrollment in noncredit-bearing, nondegree courses with nondisabled students.
  • Participation in internships or work-based training in settings with nondisabled individuals.
eligibility for work study jobs pell and seop grants sec 485
Eligibility for Work-Study Jobs, Pell and SEOP Grants (SEC. 485)
  • Must meet definition of student with intellectual disability
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a comprehensive…program
  • Be maintaining satisfactory progress in the program as determined by the IHE, in accordance with standards set by IHE
Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (SEC 767)
  • Competitive grants to IHEs or consortiums of IHEs to create or expand high-quality, inclusive programs
  • Administered by DOE office that administers other postsecondary programs
  • Grants awarded for 5 years
model demo awards
Model Demo Awards
  • Equitable geographic distribution
  • Serve areas that are underserved
  • Partnerships with any relevant agencies
  • Access to housing when available
  • Involvement of students in related fields
coordinating center for model programs for students with intellectual disabilities
Coordinating Center for Model Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Address need for meaningful credential
  • Recommend program components
  • Analyze possible funding streams
  • Develop model MOUs for IHEs and State and local agencies
  • Host an annual meeting of model demo projects
  • Competitive 5 year award administered by OPE
  • TA regarding development, evaluation, and continuous improvement
  • Develop evaluation protocol
  • Outreach & dissemination to programs, families& students
heoa implementation next steps
HEOA Implementation: Next Steps

Financial aid regulations (including definitions of students and programs) subject to negotiated rule-making process

Appropriations needed for Model Programs and Coordinating Center

two new funding initiatives
Two New Funding Initiatives

US Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)

the center on postsecondary education and students with intellectual disabilities
The Center on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Funded through NIDRR


Institute for Community Inclusion,

UMASS Boston

TransCen, Inc.

the center on postsecondary education and students with intellectual disabilities1
The Center on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Conduct Secondary Analysis of NSLTS2, RSA 911, ACS

Compile, create, & disseminate training and technical assistance (TTA) materials

Conduct national survey of PSE programs for students with ID

National Consortium to Enhance Postsecondary Education for Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

5 year project coordinated by Institute for Community Inclusion/UMASS Boston with UCEDD Partners nationwide

Phase I:Research and Planning

Phase II: Develop and Test a National Training Program

Phase III: National Implementation and Transition to Sustainability

potential outcomes
Potential Outcomes

Greater knowledge about what works

More consistent efforts that produce successful outcomes

Validated quality indicators

Increase understanding of PSE options and outcomes K-12, adult services, VR

PERC Postsecondary Program Evaluation Tool: A Self-Assessment for College and Community-Based Services

Available at

Provides an internal evaluation tool that reflects current practice and needs in areas program planning, staffing, administration, student planning, college course access, employment opportunities, self determination, interagency collaboration, monitoring and evaluation.

Currently available online, with option of a hard copy version


Transition Services for Students with Significant Disabilities in College and Community Settings -Grigal, Neubert, & Moon (2005)

Going to College - Getzel &Wehman (2005)



Through the Same Door: Inclusion Includes College (2006)


Life Link PSU DVD

south carolina transition and postsecondary education project

South Carolina Transition and Postsecondary Education Project

A Partnership Project of the

College Transition Connection and

National Down Syndrome Society

Presented by Mary Eaddy, Director, PRO-Parents of South Carolina and CTC Task Force Member

January 28, 2009

the power of parent involvement
The Power of Parent Involvement

Parents, parent advocacy organizations and parent training centers can play an important role in creating and expanding postsecondary opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities and in promoting the systems change needed for high-quality services and sustainability

the beginning in south carolina
The Beginning in South Carolina
  • Began with Donald Bailey’s vision for his son, Alston

combined with

  • Parents’ and students’ vision to have postsecondary opportunities, real jobs, life in the community
donald bailey networked and connected with other parents in sc nc
Donald Bailey networked and connected with other parents in SC & NC

Formed a Board, College Transition Connection (CTC)

Researched what was happening nationally

Contacted Madeline Will, NDSS Policy Center Director

Formed a partnership - CTC & NDSS

south carolina partnership ndss ctc
South Carolina Partnership NDSS/CTC

NDSS provides national expertise, grant administration, technical assistance. Stephanie Smith Lee, NDSS Senior Policy Advisor, is Project Director.

CTC provides local and state expertise, contacts and funding.

Center for Disability Resources** provides staff as project coordinator (reporting to NDSS Project Director) funded by CTC.

Task Force of experts recruited: family members, individuals with disabilities, educators, state agency administrators, PTI Director

action steps summary
Action Steps Summary

CTC Board raised substantial funds, obtained non-profit tax status, developed website

Task Force reviewed NDSS/N.J. model, RFP and speaker from N.J. task force

CTC Board visited The College of New Jersey and Mercer County Community College in New Jersey

Task Force reviewed applications, visited sites, recommended funding to CTC Board (grants awarded)

Obtained funding from State – S. C. General Assembly

Ongoing TA and collaboration through Task Force

roundtable on postsecondary opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities
Roundtable on Postsecondary Opportunities for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Purpose: national experts and postsecondary programs share info and expertise, technical assistance to IHEs interested in applying for funding; promoted collaboration with key state agencies

Cosponsored & paid for by: CTC, NDSS, South Carolina’s University Center for Excellence in DD Research; South Carolina Developmental Disability Council

Participants: key State leaders, colleges & universities interested in applying for RFP, CTC Task Force Members, representatives of parents of children with Down syndrome group, other groups invited

south carolina rfp developed
South Carolina RFP Developed

RFP sent to all S. C. Colleges & Universities

An inclusive model postsecondary program to be funded at one or more 2 or 4 year colleges or universities in South Carolina

Desired outcomes: academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills, and competitive or supported employment

Key components: life long learning, peer mentors, and housing (if possible)

model project grants
Model Project Grants
  • Total of $155,000 per grant:

$55,000 planning grant

$50,000 for first year of program

$50,000 for second year of program

SC RFP on NDSS website:

admission criteria
Admission Criteria
  • Between ages of 18 -26
  • Have an intellectual disability
  • Have a demonstrated ability to learn and participate in classroom & work setting
  • Demonstrated interest & desire to pursue educational, employment and life experiences through postsecondary education

Three LIFE Programs Funded


Winter 2009


Fall 2008

Fall 2009


Fall 2009

Coastal Carolina University LIFE:
  • LIFE PROGRAMLearning Is For Everyone
ongoing efforts
Ongoing Efforts
  • Continue to seek collaboration & funding for projects and individual students
  • PTI assists with PR and promoting program through SSEAC and contacts
  • Council on Developmental Disabilities provided funding for national experts to participate in Task Force meetings and provide TA
Vocational Rehabilitation agreed to:

- conduct individual assessments

- provide monthly stipends

- VR counselor assigned to each school will check in with student & school

how parent centers can promote pse opportunities
How Parent Centers Can Promote PSE Opportunities
  • Identify if existing PSE programs in your state:
  • Identify parent groups interested in supporting creation or expansion of services
  • Work with parent groups, UCEDD, DD Council, etc. to form Task Force and identify start-up funding
  • Hold a Roundtable with experts
  • Support Task Force in building relationships with state agencies, developing funding sources and partnerships and promoting systems change
existing pse programs
Existing PSE Programs
  • Evaluation of existing programs is essential – student/program match is critical to success
  • PRO-Parents of SC:
  • College Transition Connection:
  • NDSS Transition and Postsecondary Education Initiative:
  • The College of New Jersey, Career and Community Studies

  • Mercer County Community College DREAM program (in New Jersey)