December 2020: News from the National Coordinating Center
The whole team at the Think College NCC wishes you a happy, healthy, enjoyable holiday season. As we say goodbye to 2020 (finally!) and welcome 2021 (hooray!), we are reflecting on the positive things that happened this year. The very best news we had this year was being awarded the National Coordinating Center in October. As a way to start fresh in the new year, we’ll be sharing a countdown of just a few of the things we’re excited to accomplish in 2021. Don’t miss our Top 10 list on social media, starting on December 22!
The Think College National Coordinating Center at the Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston, is hiring a Knowledge Translation Associate to to translate research done at the NCC in ways that are meaningful and applicable to a broad audience. Additional information and application instructions can be found here. The deadline for applications is January 8.
We are happy to announce some new resources for you:
Be sure to visit the Resource Library to find other helpful publications, webinars, and more to expand your knowledge and improve your practice around all things related to inclusive college opportunities for students with intellectual disability.
Our December Student Spotlight is Dnydra Scott...
What is your name, where are you from, and what college are you attending?
My name is Dnydra Scott (prounced Deh-nee-dra) and I am from Washington State, and I am a first year student at University of Kansas.
What classes are you taking, and which is your favorite?
The classes I am taking are Introduction to Education, [freshman] orientation class, and Job and Career class. The class I like the best is orientation because we share our experience and we talk about anything, and I feel comfortable talking to my peers and instructors. 

What do you like to do when you’re not attending class? 
I like to hang out with my friends, or I like to read a book. 

What’s good about college? (Like, what positive effects does it have on your life?)
In college, I have independence. 

Can you share anything about how COVID has effected your college experience, maybe you learned something new, or overcame a challenge? 
It is hard as a student during the pandemic. Social events were online, and [also] my classes. 

What do you hope to do after college, when you graduate or get your certificate?
When I’m done with TPE (Transition to Postsecondary Education), I want to be able to find a job so I can live independently. I am studying to be a paraprofessional so I can work in a classroom with children. 
What advice do you have for students with disabilities who want to go to college? 
I would tell them yes, for sure, give it a shot and try it out. Because college is a great opportunity for students with disabilities and you can become more independent. 
What about parents of students of students with disabilities, do you have advice for them?
I would say absolutely, your child should go to college. 
Do you have any hobbies?
My favorite hobby is singing. I like to sing Carrie Underwood. My favorite song is "Temporary Home." I once sang this song in a talent show for students with disabilities at my high school and I got a standing ovation. 

Thanks to Dnydra for her time and willingness to share a bit about her college experience!
What's going on in Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability around the US...
Are you or someone you know looking for work in inclusive higher education? There are numerous positions currently posted on the Think College website in a variety of states around the US and several colleges are advertising multiple opportunities.

(If your program is hiring, please send us the posting and we will gladly share!)
The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity is scheduled (virtually) for March 1-2, 2021. Registration is open now, and proposals are being accepted across 9 topics and 4 session types. Of particular interest will be Transition, Inclusive Postsecondary Education, and Self-Determination. Proposals are due December 20.
The North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals (NACCAP) is hosting Virtual Christian College Fairs throughout the winter months, including one specifically for students with disabilities on January 12 where college representatives will be available to talk about each program. Other Virtual Christian College Fairs are planned for specific geographic regions, minority students, and other topics; a complete listing can be found here.

Save the Date! The 2021 AUCD for All Gala will take place virtually on April 14, 2021. The Gala theme will focus on the AUCD 50th Anniversary and the important work being done around the AUCD network to meet the needs of people with disabilities and their families. We will look back at where we have been as well as where we need to be and elevate those who are an important part of that conversation. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for an official invitation launch in January and more information on the event including honorees.
Have you considered joining AHEAD? Perhaps 2021 is the year to do it. An AHEAD membership is an essential tool for anyone working to foster equitable, accessible higher education environments for individuals with disabilities. Its unparalleled resources, especially the network of over 3,400 colleagues you'll both learn from and support, are not available through any other professional affiliation. Just a few of the many benefits include journal subscription, free monthly emails, numerous informative webinars, access to numerous networks and databases, and more! Learn more here.

Do you have news or an update to share?
It could appear in the next newsletter.
Please get in touch!

Rebecca Lazo
Knowledge Translation Associate
Think College National
Coordinating Center
Institute for Community Inclusion