June 2022: News and Updates

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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the third issue of the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network's monthly newsletter, Network News. This newsletter features updates from the Think College Network as well as news from the field, including upcoming events and opportunities related to inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) across the US.

IPSE Day collage of shared social media pics

Thank you for sharing your #IPSEDay2022 photos!

News from the Network

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Highlights from IPSE Day 

Thank you for making #IPSEDay a success!


Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) Day, or #IPSEDay, is a day to raise awareness about college options for students with Intellectual Disability. This year, folks from all over helped celebrate #IPSEDay by sharing pictures and statements on social media. A big “thank you” to everyone who participated and shared why #IPSE matters to them. We appreciate all the students, families, teachers, staff, and advocates that helped make #IPSEDay a big success this year! Make sure to check out the Think College Twitter and Facebook to see more #IPSEDay pictures, and visit ThinkCollege.net/IPSEDay to learn more about how you can celebrate #IPSEDay.

Danie holding an IPSE Day sign in front of Think College table

Think College Network, Program Coordinator, Dr. Danie Roberts-Dahm poses at the Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Conference on #IPSEDay. Danie’s sign reads that she supports IPSE because graduates get jobs and keep them!

Meet our newest team member: Sara Pound, Knowledge Translation Associate

Sara Pound Staff Photo

We are happy to announce Sara Pound is our newest  knowledge translation associate for the Think College National Coordinating Center and Inclusive Higher Education Network. Sara coordinates, creates, and publishes materials on best practices for the education and self-determination of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to joining Think College, Sara worked with an inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) program in South Carolina while pursuing her doctoral degree in Special Education Research and College Teaching. Her work focuses on increasing equitable access to inclusive educational and independent living opportunities for multiply marginalized students.

Visit our website for a complete list of our team members!

State & Regional Alliances

4 people standing together smiling at a conference

A photo from North Carolina Postsecondary Education Alliance Summit planning team after the meeting at the Carolina Institute on Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). Anna Ward (CIDD), Tamira White (NC Developmental Disabilities Council), Susanna Miller-Raines (Think College), & Lisa Pluff (UNC-Greensboro: Integrative Community Studies) 

Technical Assistance & Building Capacity for State Alliances

Susanna Miller-Raines, Alliance Manager for the Think College Network, has been working hard to support state alliance enhancement and development for several years in partnership with Think College. Now that she’s a full time staff person with the Think College Network, Susanna is able to focus more on supporting state alliances. Since she arrived in February, Susanna has reached out to each state contact across the US to offer technical assistance and additional support. She has met with eight states already and has meetings scheduled with more throughout the summer.

Susanna’s recent activity in North Carolina is a great example of the support available to state alliances through the Think College Network. She is working closely with the North Carolina Postsecondary Education (PSE) Alliance to support a summit they are hosting in August to rejuvenate the alliance. In addition, Susanna is supporting the North Carolina Community College System as they pilot inclusive programs at two of their community colleges through state legislative support. 

If you or someone from your state would like technical assistance or support, please reach out to Susanna at Susanna.MillerRaines@umb.edu.

You can also join our Think College State Alliance Affinity Group that meets every other month. For more information, please visit the State Affinity Group webpage.

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Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) Conference

This year, the Think College Network is partnering with the 2022 SEPSEA Conference to support and promote new and existing regional alliances and state alliances! We will be hosting our first capacity building institute as a conference strand at the SEPSEA conference, which will be in Auburn, AL from June 23-25, 2022. The strand will provide information, resources and planning time for state and regional alliances. This is open to all who are interested in creating and growing regional and state alliances.

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SEPSEA is looking for Board of Director Nominations

There are several open positions on the SEPSEA Board. To learn more about the open positions and to nominate yourself or someone else, please visit the SEPSEA Board Nominations Page.

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Pre-Conference Capacity Building Institute on IPSE State & Regional Alliances at the State of the Art Conference

The Think College Network, in partnership with the State of the Art (SOTA) Conference, will be hosting a pre-conference capacity building institute (CBI) on Tuesday October 18th, 2022 about the development and expansion of state and regional alliances. The morning session will focus on state alliance support and development. The afternoon session will focus on regional alliance leadership structures and offer planning time for participants interested in building future regional alliances. 

Susanna Miller-Raines, Alliance Manager for the Think College Network, will be leading the CBI along with Project Coordinator, Danie Roberts-Dahm, and representatives from the Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) and the Midwest Post-secondary Education Alliance (MIPSA). The Think College Network will be releasing information on future funding opportunities related to regional alliance formation at this event. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.   

Those interested in creating, building, or strengthening their state alliances as well as those interested in being involved in future regional alliances are invited to join us!

Registration, pre-conference and additional information is available on the SOTA Conference website.


We would love to highlight the work of state alliances in our newsletter every month.

If you are doing something cool, innovative or just plain old effective and are willing to share, please send an email to Susanna.MillerRaines@umb.edu

GAIPSEC table at conference

The Georgia Inclusive Post secondary Education Consortium shared resources at their booth during the Georgia IDEAS Conference. 

News From Other Think College Projects

Future Quest Island Explorations - “It’s Never Too Early to Think College!”

Our Future Quest Island Project is seeking grade 3-5 teachers to implement an online game-based college and career awareness curriculum for our federally funded research study. Future Quest Island-Explorations is an exciting way for your students’ to explore dozens of STEAMS (including service and trade) careers and help them imagine their future “possible self!”

If you would like to help us test the impact on students’ outcomes this fall, please take a look at our research study website at www.fqie.net.

Participating educators will receive access to the curriculum, teacher professional development, earbuds, gift cards, and signed books by New York Times best-selling author, Peter H. Reynolds! 


Please email Lori.Cooney@umb.edu

for more information.

For more informations about Future Quest Island Explorations visit the Think College Future Quest Island-Explorations website.

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Find more information about the program and the application process on the Transition Leadership program webpage.

Contact Nancy Hurley, program coordinator, with questions: 


Transition Leadership Scholars - Application deadline extended to July 1st!

The Transition Leadership program is accepting applications for its next cohort of scholars. This 18-month program that begins in September 2022 is a fully online program that includes six courses. Scholars who complete the program will be eligible to pursue advanced study certification, such as the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition's transition specialist national certification or if in MA, a Massachusetts state transition specialist endorsement.

News From the Field

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We want to hear from you!

Please email us with any news (events, updates, announcements, employment opportunities) to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Network News.

National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) College Fair

College programs! Are you signed up to exhibit at the NDSC College Fair in New Orleans on Friday, June 24? This extremely popular event is part of the NDSC 50th Annual Convention, attended by over 3000 people, including over 350 self-advocates. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and share information about your program. 


Register today for the NDSC College Fair, and we will see you in New Orleans!

NDSC 2022 Convention College Fair logo

Programs and schools in attendance will include: Fresno State Wayfinders, Vanderbilt University Next Steps, Syracuse Inclusive U, The Ohio State University, The University of Kansas Transition to Postsecondary Education. Green Oaks Life Prep, and more!


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Plain Language In Journalism - Participants Needed for Focus Group


Researchers based at the University of Toledo are seeking participants for a 1-2 hour focus group, which will be held sometime this spring. Participants will receive a $25 gift card. Participants can expect meeting in groups of 5-10 people, via video chat through Zoom.


Focus group questions will include:

  • Where they get their news,
  • What stories they are interested in,
  • Problems they have getting the news,
  • Ideas for making it easier to read the news.

The focus group will be audio-recorded with permission. 

If you’re interested in learning more, or signing up for the group please fill out this Microsoft Form.

Do you have a research recruitment announcement you would like us to share in our newsletter? Submit your request using this form.

Employment Opportunities

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Think College Network is looking for a Technical Assistance Coordinator!

The Think College Network will have a job series posting for Technical Assistance Coordinator coming soon!

Please check the University of Massachusetts Boston website for details.

The Institute for Community Inclusion is hiring a Transition Manager

The Education and Transition Team at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston is looking for a dynamic educator and disability advocate to join a growing team of professionals who are focused on supporting the professional development needs of teachers, counselors, and transition specialists who directly serve transition-age youth with disabilities. We are looking for a Transition Manager who can balance teaching and training activities with project coordination as well as be part of a team that is focused on promoting full inclusion in schools, college campuses, jobs, and the community.

The position allows for individuals to work remotely but must have flexibility to attend meetings and travel locally when necessary. You can find a full description of this full-time position on the University of Massachusetts Boston website.

Clip art - Job Search

Visit the Think College employment opportunities webpage for current IPSE-related job openings across the country.  

Here are some recently posted opportunities:

  • Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) is hiring a part-time executive director
  • Midwest Postsecondary Education Alliance (MIPSA) is hiring

Have a position opening? Email us the job title and a link to the job description and application and we will post it.

Photos from the Network

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Drs. Meg Grigal & Danie Roberts-Dahm presented "What can the Think College Centers do for YOU?" at the 2022 DCDT Conference recently.

A highlight from the Think College table at the 2022 DCDT Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Got great photos? We would love to feature them! 

Submit your photos using this form.

Student Opportunities

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College Fair at the 2022 SEPSEA Conference  

Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 5:30 pm (CT)

Auburn, AL

Visit the Conference Website for details

College Fair at the National Down Syndrome Congress 

June 24, from 3:00-6:00 pm (ET)

New Orleans, LA

Register here 

Upcoming Events

NTAACT Webinar Logo

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) Webinar Series Part 1

June 16, 2022 at 2 p.m. ET

Topic: Inclusive Housing

Register here

SEPSEA Conference Logo

2022 SEPSEA Conference

June 23-25, 2022

Auburn, AL

Register here


National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC)

June 23-25, 2022

Register here

NTAACT Webinar Logo

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) Webinar Series Part 2

July 7, 2022 at 2 p.m. ET

Topic: Inclusive Housing

Register here

Williams Syndrome Conference Logo

Williams Syndrome Association Conference

July 12-16

Schaumburg, IL

Register here

Think College State Alliance Logo

Think College State Alliance Affinity Group

Topic: State Legislative Funding and Policies

July 21, 2022 3 p.m. ET

Register here

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AHEAD Equity & Excellence Conference

July 18-22, 2022

Cleveland, Ohio

Register here

SOTA Conference Logo

2022 State of the Art Conference

October 19-20, 2022

Syracuse, NY

Register here

Do you have news or an update to share? 

It could appear in next month’s Network News

Send submissions to ThinkCollegeIHEN@umb.edu

For more information about the Network News or the 

Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network, contact:

Danie Roberts-Dahm


Project Coordinator

Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network

Institute for Community Inclusion

University of Massachusetts Boston 

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