January 2022: News & Updates
Dear Reader,

Happy New Year! We’ve made a few resolutions, one of which is to provide you with a better sense of what NCC has to offer by making some changes to our newsletter. We added a few new sections including:

  • Technical assistance
  • Staff recommended resources
  • Learning opportunities

We removed the section on inclusive postsecondary education news around the country. It’s gone but not forgotten! The info will be delivered once a month in a second newsletter called The Bulletin.

Another resolution of ours? Get to know you better. Soon we will be asking you to update your profile. The more we know about you, the better we can inform you! Look for an email with instructions next week!
Danie Roberts-Dahm to coordinate new Think College project
If you recall, Think College received a grant to establish the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network (TC Network) project. We are thrilled to announce Dr. Danie Roberts-Dahm has been hired as the project’s coordinator. Considering Danie’s proven leadership in inclusive higher education, we expect great things for the TC Network ahead. Click here to read more about Danie!
Become a Think College knowledge translation associate!
We are hiring knowledge translation associates (KTA) to help disseminate our research to different audiences in ways that will be meaningful to them.

Click here to learn more and apply. Application deadline is January 31, 2022.
Expand Your Professional Network
Join us on LinkedIn to stay informed of emerging trends, training and educational events, employment opportunities, and of course, expand your network of like-minded professionals.

Find us at
Accreditation Workgroup Update
The NCC established a new Accreditation Workgroup in 2021 to support the development of a program accreditation process for college programs for students with intellectual disability. The workgroup met for the first time in February and had their final 2021 meeting in December. The next quarterly meeting will be in March. In the meantime, the workgroup members will continue to work on finalizing the guidance manual for accreditation that will provide key information to program staff and leaders interested in applying for program accreditation. Keep an eye out for more updates! Visit the workgroup webpage to learn more about the members and the group’s activities.
Technical Assistance: You Ask, We Answer
Last year, our TA team answered 600 inquiries from parents, teachers, students, administrators, program staff, guidance counselors, and friends. You ask, we answer. Really! Send an email to ThinkCollegeTA@gmail.com and ask us anything about inclusive postsecondary education. We will get you an answer.
Question of the Month
Do you have any data or reports demonstrating how (if) participation in inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs positively impact employment outcomes for students? Click here for the answer.
Recommended Resources
Video: I'm Thinking College (Even with my Disability)
In this video, students at Next Steps at Vanderbilt University talk about what it’s like to be in college. They learn new things in classes, make new friends, become more independent, and have work internships.

We recommend this video for anyone, but especially students with ID who are considering but unsure about college. Click here or on the image to open the video in Youtube.
COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 poses challenges to safely and effectively deliver instruction to students with disabilities. We've assembled a list of resources for all audiences.

Upcoming Webinars
Demonstrating Student Competencies: Microcredentials & Digital Badging
Presenter: Tobey Partch-Davies
January 25, 2022 | 3-4pm ET

How much do you really know about the type of degrees students attending inclusive college programs earn – or don’t earn? Students develop knowledge and master skills through coursework and learning experiences. Not all earn a degree or certificate. Participate on January 25 to learn how colleges are making sure students with ID don’t walk away empty handed.
Who Does What? Optimizing Employment Services and Supports through Individual Planning for College Students with Intellectual Disability
Presenters: Melissa Diehl, Amy D'Agati, and Meg Grigal
March 31, 2022 | 2-3pm ET
How do you ensure students have access to employment? Start with a good team. Having the right team in place to support college students with ID to access and succeed in employment is critical—and complicated. Attend our March 31 webinar to learn about optimizing employment services and supports.
Paying for College: Exploring Possible Funding Options
Presenter: Cate Weir
May 25, 2022 | 2-3pm ET

How do you pay for college? That’s a million-dollar question. Join us May 25 to learn about several funding options students and families can explore.
Project Advisory Committee
What’s the PAC and who’s a part of it?

The National Coordinating Center was funded in October 2020 for another 5 years- hooray! As we were writing the grant application, we agreed that a way we could spread the word about postsecondary options for students with ID would be to increase our reach by working with folks outside our “realm.” Makes sense: increase our reach by… increasing our reach. We brainstormed a list of people and organizations we wanted to work with, whose networks might overlap with ours, but would allow for some new contacts, as well.

So, the NCC established its first Project Advisory Committee, or PAC. The list of people and organizations participating is impressive and we’re happy they all accepted our invitation to be a part of the PAC. We are preparing for our third meeting, where we will update the group on current NCC activities and look for ways our missions overlap and intersect.

Each month we’ll introduce you to one of our PAC members, and they’ll share a bit about the work they do and why inclusive higher education is important to them. Stay tuned; this should be fun!
Affinity Groups
Engage with like-minded folks!
Are you passionate or curious about a specific aspect of transition or postsecondary education? Whether you want to talk or just listen, an NCC Affinity Group is a good way to engage with others. Click the name of the group to learn more about its goals, activities, past recordings, and upcoming meeting dates.
Click here to read an article about the different groups and they got started.

Just looking for meeting dates? Check out our events calendar.
New Affinity Group Co-facilitator

John Andresen pairs up with Clare Papay to “push the boundaries of research”
Starting January 20, Dr. John Andresen joins Clare Papay as co-facilitator of the Research Affinity Group. John has committed his research and development to three primary foci, employment, postsecondary education, and policy affecting people with significant disabilities.

He brings a wealth of knowledge and a great deal of passion for research on inclusive higher education. Click here for more information about Dr. Andresen's research interests and bio.
David Canipe
David first caught our attention when we heard he earned an industry recognized credential for paraprofessionals. This will make him extra attractive to employers, in addition to his passion for teaching young children. Click here to find out more about David’s college experience and what he hopes is next. 
Other Think College project activities
Earn Your Transition Leadership Certificate Online
UMass Boston offers a transition leadership certificate that focuses on the transition from high school to adult life for young people with a wide range of disabilities. The program is an excellent way for educators and non-educators from across the nation to broaden their abilities and to place their work in a wider context. Visit the program webpage for more information or check out the program factsheet.
What alumni are saying?
“The Transition Leadership Program gave me knowledge and tools which empowered me to organize an event for students and families to learn about local programs from adult service providers and educational institutions at the very first Transition Fair at Duxbury High School.” - Betsy Hintz, alumni

Do you have news or
an update to share?
It could appear in The Bulletin!
Please get in touch!

Sheila Johnson
Knowledge Translation Associate
Institute for Community Inclusion
University of Massachusetts Boston

Stay Connected with Think College!