March 2022: News & Updates
CTP Learning Module Gets a New Look has 6 learning modules and they are all getting a makeover, beginning with the Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary (CTP) Program Approval module. It provides instruction, resources, and examples to guide college programs through the CTP program application process. Check out the new format!
Meet Valerie!
Last month, Valerie Thompson joined the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network as program assistant. Valerie provides critical administrative support to The TC Network team and other Think College projects. Read more about her background.
Susanna comes onboard full time!
Susanna Miller-Raines is no stranger to Think College; she has been a TA consultant and the facilitator of the Statewide Alliance Affinity Group for years. But last month, Susanna joined the TC Network as the new regional alliance manager. She will provide training and technical assistance to regional and state alliances and those in development. Learn more about Susanna.
Accreditation Workgroup Update
The NCC Accreditation Workgroup (AWG) kicked off the month with a quarterly meeting on March 2. A group of members have volunteered to begin work on recruitment criteria for the upcoming ‘accreditation process pilots’ beginning in September 2022. We hope all programs will continue to think about ways to utilize the standards currently with the great tools created by the NCC team. In addition, we discussed the proposed regulations that would impose measurements for all colleges and universities regarding gainful employment. Currently, college programs for students with ID are not subject to these regulations. For more information on what this means for colleges more generally check out the recent Inside Higher Ed article on this topic.

Finally, many thanks to Mark LaCelle-Peterson, CEO of AAQEP, and Rebecca Pelton, President of MACTE for all of their time in helping us consider the full world of accreditation. Both Mark and Rebecca have been so generous with their knowledge and time, in addition to presenting to members of the AWG. We have benefited greatly from their experience and know-how as we continue our accreditation journey.
NCC: Using Data to Improve and Inform Practice
A primary activity of the NCC is the annual collection of data on program operations and student experiences each year from model demonstration programs called Transition and Postsecondary Education Program for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) programs. One of the many ways we use those data is to learn more about the technical assistance (TA) needs of the TPSID programs.
The NCC TA team just finished up what we call data-driven technical assistance calls with 31 TPSID programs. During these calls, we discuss some of the data with program staff. These calls help us to determine TA needs based on what the data are telling us at each individual TPSID site. It is also an opportunity to hear the stories behind the numbers, and learn about notable accomplishments of the program and its students.
In upcoming newsletters, we will share some of those stories with you so you can learn more about what is going on at the TPSID programs.
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 and ask us anything about inclusive postsecondary education. We will get you an answer.
question mark
Question of the Month
Do you have resources on students evaluating their own job shadowing experiences? Click here for the answer.
Recommended Resources
Video: The Changing Role of Families
In this video, four parents discuss the changes they saw in their kids, and in themselves, when their kids went off to college. Click to watch.
Infographic: NTACT’s continuum of VR services
Here’s a good visual of the continuum of VR services beginning with pre-employment transition services for students with disabilities in the early stages of career and employment exploration. Check it out here.
Publication: Fast Fact #18
Impact of Postsecondary Education on Employment Outcomes of Youth with Intellectual Disability Served by Vocational Rehabilitation (Fast Fact #18) describes the employment outcomes, including rehabilitation rate and wages, of youth with ID served by vocational rehab who participated in postsecondary education. Learn more here.
Click here to see the other 991 resources available on ThinkCollege.Net!
Upcoming Webinars
student answering phone at retail shop
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.
piggy bank and books
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.
by Danie Roberts-Dahm

This blog post gives a look at the new Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network project from the project coordinator, Dr. Danie Roberts-Dahm. Danie also shares a bit of her background as well as what’s to come with The Think College Network.
by Nancy Hurley

Have you heard about the cutting-edge online program that prepares special education teachers, school guidance counselors, rehab counselors and others to improve their transition knowledge and skills to better help students leave school prepared to move on to their best post-school life? No? Then you need to read this blog post by Nancy Hurley, a member of the Think College team and training associate for the Transition Leadership program. (See below for more information about applying for the program.)
by Denise Rozell

The words Home and Community-Based Services and Medicaid generally make people dizzy. Luckily, our good friend Denise Rozell, director of Policy Innovation at AUCD, explains it all. Read Denise’s blog post to learn how HCBS and Medicaid Waivers can support inclusive postsecondary education.
Project Advisory Committee
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. How impressive? Find out by reading a monthly member profile.
This month, we interviewed Terry Monkaba (shown left with her son), executive director of the Williams Syndrome Association. Read her profile now.
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.
Affinity Group Focus: College-based Transition Services: Peer Mentoring
The CBTS group consists of staff and others who support transition-aged students with ID who are or who would like to include college in their transition services. Led by Maria Paiewonsky, the group brainstorms and selects topics to explore in depth.
For a better sense of the format of the group, watch the Affinity Group Short. It is a 6-minute snippet from a presentation/discussion on peer mentoring. Click here to visit the CBTS Affinity Group page or sign up now to receive announcements.
Wright Villani
Wright Villani is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He attends the ACE-IT program and will graduate in 2023.
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. Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2022 semester.
There are 3 ways to learn more:
Future Quest Island-Exploration
Future Quest Island-Exploration (FQI-E) is seeking grade 3-5 teachers to implement an online game-based college and career awareness curriculum for their federally-funded research study. FQI-E is an exciting way for students to explore dozens of STEAMS (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) careers.

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 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. Email for more information.
Learn More about Career and Technical Education (CTE)
One of the goals of the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network is to share best practices for improving inclusive postsecondary education, including assisting in the expansion of institutions of higher education offering access for students with intellectual disability. This recent article features an overview of the CTE Collaborative Workgroup as well as some CTE-related facts and resources. Links to success stories of students with intellectual disability earning CTE credentials are also shared.
College Matters Florida
The College Matters Florida project launched a multi-media educational awareness campaign in January 2022. They are seeking partners to help disseminate educational materials on social media, organization websites, and more. If you are interested, sign up here.

Contact Jaimie Timmons at for more info.
Sunrise over book

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