May 2021 News from the National Coordinating Center
NCC Webinar: Getting it Right AND Learning on the Fly: Prepared for College?
Hear from 2 moms who helped their sons prepare for and go to college. Dee and Kathy will share personal stories. Kathy’s son, Peter, will also share his perspective.

With Pete Becht, Kathleen Becht,
and Dee Sapp

May 25, 2021, 7:00-8:00 PM ET
NCC Webinar: Where Are We Now: Program Accreditation Standards
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What are the standards for high-quality college programs that service individuals with intellectual disability and their families? Attend this session to find out what the National Coordinating Center has discovered about model standards and the process of accreditation. Standards addressed include:
·     Academic achievement
·     Mission
·     Curriculum
·     Faculty and staff
·     and more!

With Stephanie Smith Lee, Martha Mock, and Debra Hart
June 3, 2021, 2:00-3:00 pm ET 
NCC Webinar: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Data  
The NCC has been collecting program and student data from Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSIDs) since 2010. Data, like how programs are staffed and what students do, provide insight into what can help students achieve their desired outcomes of academic inclusion and employment. Join to learn what the NCC has discovered from 10 years of data collection and evaluation.

With Meg Grigal and Clare Papay
June 29, 3-4pm ET 

April Takeaways: 7 Things the NCC has for You

Miss the April What the NCC Can Do for You webinar? Catch up by reading our key takeaways and watching the recording.
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Visit UMass Boston HR to apply.
Work for Think College! We are Hiring a Research Associate II
We are looking for someone who is passionate about data and inclusive higher education. The right candidate should ideally have experience with inclusive higher ed services and supports to persons with ID. Learn more and submit your application now. Deadline is MAY 20, 2021
Think College Affinity Groups: Looking for community?
Wishing you could find a group of people working toward similar goals, or who share an interest of yours? Look no further! Check out the Think College Affinity Groups. Pick your favorite and become a member today.

Groups meet quarterly via Zoom to share news, information, and ideas.

Current Groups

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Latest blog: How do States Support Inclusive Higher Education?
By Siddarth Nagaraj, Senior Program Specialist, AUCD

State legislatures have control over many public scholarships and also have the power to fund research into public needs, and you can advocate for them to make these more inclusive and responsive to the needs of students with intellectual disabilities. Read the full post.
News from other Think College projects
Interested in pursuing the MA transition specialist endorsement?
The Transition Leadership Program within the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development is currently recruiting students for the fall cohort beginning September 2021.

This is a fully online transition leadership program approved by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition and the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Check out the newest brochure as well as the program fact sheet to learn more.

Questions? Contact
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Do you teach grades 3-5? You could participate in a research study using a game-based college & career curriculum.

Future Quest Island-Explorations, a game-based college & career curriculum that focuses on STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Service/Trade) careers, self-concept, and social-emotional competence.

To learn more about the curriculum and the study, please visit
May Student Spotlight: Elise McDaniel
Elise McDaniel is a young woman with ID. Emma Burgin is the coordinator at the FUTURE program at University of Tennessee. The two attended the State of the Art (SOTA) Conference together in Reno, Nevada, in November 2019. Elise and Emma both learned so much about inclusive higher education and met so many great people in the field. They both love to travel, to learn, and to be involved, so when they heard about the Disability Policy Seminar at SOTA, they immediately wanted to be a part of it.
Think College staffer Rebecca Lazo met and got to know them through Think College Policy Advocates program this year. After getting to know her better, Rebecca realized Elise’s experience would make a great Student Spotlight, so here you go! And be sure to watch this video from Think Draft, a media production company in Knoxville, where Elise just finished an internship.
What is your name, where are you from, and what college are you attending? 
My name is Elise McDaniel. I am from Knoxville, TN and I am attending the University of TN.
What classes are you taking, and which is your favorite? 
I'm taking a sign language class, a CFS class and a Career Life Planning class. I don’t have a favorite one, maybe my sign language class.
What do you like to do when you’re not attending class? 
I like to hang out in my dorm in Tabletown. I hang out with friends sometimes. I also listen to music sometimes.
What’s good about college? 
I like having classes in person because it is good to hang out with more people and have the college experience. I also like living on my own because I like being free from my parents, but I still miss them some of the time.
How has COVID affected your college experience? 
Since COVID, we have had Zoom classes instead of in-person classes. I can do this, but I like it better in-person. I do hate wearing my mask but I have to.
What do you hope to do after college, after you graduate or get your certificate? 
I hope to get a job at the TN School for the Deaf. I also would like to start a program for deaf adults who aged out of the Young Life outreach and camp program. I also want to be an ambassador for Best Buddies (an organization that promotes and supports inclusive living for individuals with IDD.) 
What advice do you have for young students with disabilities who aren’t sure about college? 
You can do this! You can have the college experience. I believe that because I did it. You can get into a college, you just need to find one you want to get into.
Do you have any advice about college for parents of students of students with disabilities? 
Parents, let your child go to college of their dreams. Let your child have the college experience.
Do you have any hobbies?
I sing, dance, color, watch movies, play ukulele, play Nintendo Switch, go out to eat, go on the boat and tube behind it. I hang out at home a lot. I also listen to music a lot. I go on trips with my family but haven’t gone anywhere because of COVID. I also like Broadway shows. I used to go to them until they closed because of COVID. I like to swing on the swing sometimes. I also swim in the pool.
Why did you apply to be a Think College Policy Advocate?
I wanted to participate because I want to learn about the disability policies. I want to know what they are, so we know if they are working for people with disabilities. If they are not working, we have the power to change them.
“Elise is a great example of someone who has taken full advantage of all FUTURE (her college program) has to offer. She lives on campus among her same-age peers, is a member of Boss Dance group, Young Life, and Student Government.” ~Emma
Remember Lawrence Sapp from our March student spotlight? He's headed to Tokyo to win another gold!
Read all about his journey from young swimmer to a Paralympic medal winner.
Lawrence swimming aggressively in an Olympic-size pool.
What's going on in higher education for students with intellectual disability in the US
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Think College is happy to partner with the NDSC for their Virtual College Fair held June 21-26. Learn more and register. In addition to the dedicated College Fair session, all registered colleges will be in the Virtual Exhibit Hall for attendees to visit during convention week and for 90 days afterward.
VCU Webcast Recording: Higher Education Programs for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Looking for tips on providing effective virtual job development and training supports to students on a college campus? Check out Virginia Commonwealth University Transition RRTC’s archived webcast, Higher Education Programs for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Learn more.
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Transition Tennessee Webcast Recording: Social Security Disability Benefits and Youth
with Hope Johnson
This webcast covered the most important benefit issues for transition aged youth. The audience learned about the different types of Social Security disability benefits, and how those benefits are affected by work activity. Watch this webcast to gain a general understanding of how benefits may be impacted when entering the workforce.
Hope Johnson profile
San Diego State University Survey: The Value of Social-Emotional Learning for College Students with ID
The purpose of this anonymous survey study is to measure how practitioners value Social and Emotional Learning compared to program goals for post-secondary students with intellectual disabilities. Start the survey!
News from NCC partners
2021 Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education Conferences
July 19-23|Live in Austin, Texas
AHEAD is excited to announce its 44th annual conference, Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education, as an in-person professional development and networking event in Austin, Texas. Learn more and register.

July 26-30|Virtual Event on Zoom
The virtual equivalent to live event. It will highlight content from Austin, including presentations and a virtual exhibit hall. Learn more and register.
The AHEAD 2021 Spring Colloquium|May 19-21
Join AHEAD for 3 days of virtual presentations on 3 topics crucial to higher education disability resource professionals: legal/policy issues, accessible online, and the Disability Employment Initiative. Learn more and register.
Now Available: AUCD 2020 Annual Report
Throughout the pandemic crisis, AUCD's national network has proven to be an invaluable resource in amplifying the voices of the disability community and providing support to an otherwise overlooked population. Read the report to learn more about the policies, personal stories, supports, lessons learned, and resources developed and shared by their network of experts.

Webinar: AIR-P Presents - Brain and Body in Motion: Understanding and supporting motor dysfunction in Autism | May 21, 2021, 4-5pm ET
Join AUCD for a presentation by Dr. Rujuta B. Wilson, a behavioral child neurologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Learn more and register.
AUCD's Prepared4ALL Online Training Course is LIVE and Open to the Public!
This training helps disability communities and organizations increase knowledge about emergency planning and learn how to get involved in their local community. Learn more and enroll (for free).
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When life gives you lemons, make orange juice and leave the world wondering how you did it.

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

Sheila Johnson
Knowledge Translation Associate
Think College National
Coordinating Center
Institute for Community Inclusion