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June 2022: News & Updates
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We have a new homepage! 
With input from our new staff members and excitement from our more established team members, we redesigned ThinkCollege.net's homepage to better show off our goods. Among our favorite new features are a running list of latest additions to the resource library, quick links to your favorite resource by topic page, tabs to easily see what is happening in your state, and view project specific information and resources.
Paying for College resources
If you missed the Paying for College webinar, we have several ways to catch up. In addition to the recording, presenter Cate Weir created the new resource Paying for College: Exploring Funding Sources for an Inclusive Postsecondary Education Program. For even more resources on paying for college, read this article on ThinkCollege.net.
Students in the spotlight: the Think College Policy Advocates!
4 people posing for a photo in a congresswoman's office
On June 6 and 7, Shelby Bates and Sara Pound joined Think College Policy Advocate teams and our partners at AUCD in Washington, DC to raise awareness and advocate for postsecondary opportunities for students with ID. Ten teams of program staff and students participated in training focused on disability policy and advocacy before heading to Capitol Hill! Teams met with members of Congress and/or their staff where students shared about their college experience, their college program, and how decisions at the state and federal level can impact the lives of people with ID.

Photo left to right: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Evan Henniger (recent graduate from Washington State University), Shelby Bates (Think College staff) and Kelley Wilds (program staff Washington State University ROAR program)
Want information on establishing a mentoring program?
Check out the new How To Think College publication Mentor Models and Practices for Inclusive Postsecondary Education.
NCC Accreditation Workgroup
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Recently, Cate Weir and Martha Mock enjoyed discussing accreditation with transition professionals at the spring DCDT conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. In addition, the NCC Accreditation Workgroup met earlier this month to determine the criteria for the programs who will be piloting the accreditation process starting Fall 2022.

Many thanks to Workgroup member, Stephan Smith, director of AHEAD, who provided leadership to the subgroup, and thanks to the following workgroup members for their time and efforts on the pilot criteria sub-group: Drew Andrews, Carol Britton Laws, Michelle Mitchell, Tracy Rand, and Terri Shelton. The main purpose of piloting the accreditation process is to work with established programs who have graduated at least two cohorts of students. The selected programs will participate as a learning partner and will complete the draft accreditation process to ensure that the process is sound and the guidance provided is clear. Learn more about accreditation and the Workgroup.
Project Advisory Committee
Middle-aged woman with short grayish hair with a big smile.
What’s the PAC and who’s a part of it?

The NCC established its first Project Advisory Committee, or PAC, last year. The list of people and organizations participating is impressive.

We recently asked PAC member Catherine Fowler (left), co-director the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C), a couple questions about her thoughts on collaborating with Think College and our resources.

What would you like to see from your partnership with Think College?

Catherine: While there is crossover in our broad audiences, NTACT:C primarily provides technical assistance to state education agency and state vocational rehabilitation agency staff, focused on services for transition-age students and youth. Think College primarily serves programs in colleges serving young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because there are different regulations that govern the activities of our primary stakeholders there can be tensions between those worlds at times. It seems the partnership between NTACT:C and Think College could help bridge the gap between those audiences and support finding solutions in spaces where policies, procedures, and terminology are barriers to the common outcomes our audiences seek.

What’s your favorite Think College resource?

Catherine: As co-director of NTACT:C, I’ve found the data highlights and executive summary from the annual reports helpful to work I need to do. However, the resources we regularly direct our audience members to include the Rethinking College film (for individuals new to the field), the accreditation resources (for K-12 systems and stakeholders), the College Search tool (for families), and the Fast Facts publications are great.
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.
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Question of the Month
Can you steer me towards information or resources to help build the case that our students should be considered for a financial aid package that aligns with their cost of attendance, commitment, and participation?

Recommended Resources
Impact Magazine
Check out the Spring 2022 issue of Impact Magazine featuring articles and conversations from Think College staff and consultants about Inclusive Higher Education for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities! This special topics issue was co-edited by Meg Grigal, co-director of Think College and Susanna Miller Raines, program manager for Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network.
2 students wearing red with text IMPACT overlaying them
You can read and listen to articles including:
Think College! A Program and a Mantra by Cate Weir (Think College)
Inclusive Higher Education: Assessing Progress Toward Better Futures for College Students with Intellectual Disabilities by Meg Grigal and Clare Papay (Think College) and David R. Johnson (University of Minnesota)
Accreditation Moves Forward by Stephanie Smith Lee (Down Syndrome Congress) and Martha Mock (University of Rochester)

Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative by Maria Paiewonsky and Debra Hart (Think College) and Mary Price (MAICEI/ Massachusetts Department of Higher Education)
Two Campus Conversations: Interviews with MAICEI students Nykenge Blue at UMass Boston and Samantha Gibbs at Salem State University.
These are only a few of the 32 articles in this special topics issue. Read or listen to the full Spring 2022 feature issue of Impact Magazine on Inclusive Higher Education.
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In this blog, Shelby Bates shares the story of how students, families, and advocates helped make inclusive postsecondary education a reality for youth with ID in Colorado.
airplane, bus, train and downtown Washington DC
In this blog, Denise Rozell shares her excitement about the new cohort of Think College Policy Advocates and their visit to Washington, DC.
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.
News from the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network
The Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network, in partnership with the State of the Art Conference, will be hosting a pre-conference capacity building institute on the development and expansion of state and regional alliances held on October 18, 2022. Learn about their sessions and more about the conference.

For more information about Think College newsletters, contact:

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

Stay Connected with Think College!