October 2022

News & Announcements

blonde person with trees in background and name Chelsea stinnett and redheaded person with tree in the background with name Caitlyn Bukaty

Three new staff members and a graduate research assistant, oh boy!

We are pleased to announce that Caitlyn Bukaty (L) and Chelsea Stinnett (R) joined the Think College team. Each one brings extensive experience in inclusive postsecondary education, as well as passion for seeing this field grow. Read more about Caitlyn and Chelsea.

This semester Chinyere Azike joined us as a graduate research assistant. Chinyere is a social development strategist with a specialty in research, advocacy, project and program design, and implementation. Her work focuses on strengthening institutions, policies, and systems for marginalized and vulnerable groups, particularly persons with disabilities. She is a Ph.D. student at UMass Boston's School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.

Think College team members hit the road!

NCC team members Clare Papay (L), Kathy Becht (C), and Belkis Choiseul-Praslin (R visited two TPSIDs in California last month – Taft College and University of California Davis. The visit helped them better understand how each program supports students and gave them the opportunity to talk firsthand with students, peer mentors, staff, and administrators. Thanks to the staff at both programs for welcoming them!

Meg and Cate Join the Think Inclusive podcast

Meg Grigal and Cate Weir discuss why it is important for people with intellectual disabilities to have the option to go to college in a recent episode of Tim Villegas’s podcast Think Inclusive from the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, Inc.. Listen to the episode now! Learn about Tim’s work at www.thinkinclusive.us. 

State of the Art Conference

This week, Think College team members are at the State of the Art Conference on Inclusive Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disability (SOTA) in Syracuse, New York.  Learn more about the conference and our team members’ presentations.  

Webinar: College & Career Learning: Promoting Growth for Students with Intellectual Disability

Nov. 10, 2022, 2-3pm ET

Presenter: Dr. Katey Burke, Temple University, Department of Teaching and Learning


College has the potential to be an opportunity for enormous growth in the lives of all students. How can college programs for students with intellectual disability promote this growth? By supporting students to set and work toward meaningful college and career goals and gain related experiences.


During this webinar, Dr. Katey Burke will describe and provide resources for the College and Career Learning Model (CCLM). This framework enables students and those who support them to intentionally plan for and strengthen college and career abilities, gain related experiences in the campus community, and track progress – all without separate, specialized courses.

Learn more and register.

Winter/Spring 2023 Webinars


Getting a Head Start: Planning for College Success Now

Jan. 18, 2023, 3-4pm ET

Presenter: Maria Paiewonsky, Institute of Community Inclusion, UMass Boston



Collaborating with Employers: Strategies and Tips for Supporting Students with Intellectual Disabilities on the Job

Mar. 23, 2023, 2-3pm ET

Presenter: Jaclyn Camden, ACE-IT, Virginia Commonwealth University



How Engaged are Your Students in Campus Life?

May 2, 2023, 2-3pm ET

Presenters: Jennifer Sulewski and Ashley Luce, Institute of Community Inclusion, UMass Boston and Lindsay Krech, Next Steps, Vanderbilt University


Accreditation Workgroup Update

Martha Mock, chair of the NCC’s accreditation workgroup, along with Think College staff Debra Hart and Cate Weir and past chair Stephanie Smith Lee, are presenting at a plenary session at this week’s State of the Art Conference in Syracuse, NY. The session will share a brief history of the work of the group to date, and focus on its current work and plans for the future. Tools to help college programs become accreditation-ready will be shared, updates on the pilot of the accreditation process currently underway and information on how programs can indicate their interest in serving as a future pilot site will be shared. If this all sounds interesting and you are attending SOTA, make sure not to miss this plenary session! If you are not attending, but are interested in what is being shared, let us know and we can share the slide deck with you!

October 2022

Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) Fact! 

TPSID are model demonstration projects funded by the US Department of Education.

Last year, students enrolled in TPSID programs in 16 states. Find a TPSID program near you (or far away!) 

Think College Affinity Groups

Think College hosts professional development Affinity Groups on topics related to higher education for students with intellectual disability. Click a date/time to register for an upcoming meeting. Sign up to receive email updates and announcements via this Google Form.

save the date logo with colorful stick figures

New! Early Career Researchers

This group is designed for new professionals working towards a career in academia and/or research. The first meeting is October 27, 1-2pm ET.

Inclusive Campus Life

Topic: Tools & tricks for planning, documenting, and grading required campus life activities

October 28, 1-2pm ET

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

Topic: How becoming a CTP program can tip the scale for VR support of inclusive postsecondary education programs

November 2, 2-3:30pm ET

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Topic: National CTE resources, including advance CTE

November 15, 3-4pm ET

New! Employment Partnerships

This group is for people interested in collaborations between employers, higher education institutions, VR, and developmental disability agencies and others who support students with ID. The first meeting is November 29, 2-3pm ET

Student Credentials

Topic: Capturing co-curricular activities in your program of study without creating specialized courses

November 29, 3-4pm ET

State Alliances

Topic: What can the Think College Network do for you? Introduction to Think College’s Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Team, discussion of statewide needs assessments related to IPSE, Q&A around TTA needs

November 30, 3-4pm ET

College-based Transition Services

Topic: The ramp from college-based transition to continuing attending college after transition

December 8, 2-3pm ET

Technology & UDL

Topic: Internet safety and wellness

December 15, 3-4pm ET

blog logo

First Achieve at Highline College student elected as president of the student body!

by Mahad Dahir, guest blogger 

My name is Mahad Dahir and I was diagnosed with autism at an early age which impacts my ability to communicate with the people around me. I’m also the son of a refugee whose community has stigmas regarding mental health and disability awareness. Continue reading Mahad’s post.

human with short hair and red t-shirt smiling

State of the Art Conference: Back in Person

by Katie Ducett, guest blogger

Growth and change does not come from one person alone. We grow together in collaboration with others- celebrating the good and working towards better. Over the last three years, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the planning committees for the State of the Art Conference on Inclusive Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disability, or SOTA, and the Student Leadership Conference (SLC).  Read More!

For Students

Encourage Students to Engage in our Discussion Group!

The next Emerging Advocate Student Group meeting will be December 1, 2022, from 2-3pm ET. Hosted by Liz Weintraub, students with disabilities gather on Zoom to learn about advocacy and talk about issues that are important to them. Students can register for the meeting here. Please also encourage students to join the emerging advocates student mailing list at thinkcollege.net/studentsignup.

brown student with black hair  with disability wearing a pink polo shirt posing outdoors in front of trees and flowers.

Student Interview: Hari Kannan

Who are you? 

My name is Hari Kannan and I am 20 years old. 

I’m turning 21 years old on November 19. 


Where are you from? 

I am from North Potomac, Maryland. 


What college do you go to? 

I go to University of Maryland College Park. 


What is the best part of college experience? 

The best part of my college experience is being in a family at UMD College Park. Being part of a college experience is so fun, I have been taking classes that match my career interests and helping my community, TerpsEXCEED, Best Buddies grow. Being able to make new friends, attending sports games, activities/clubs, going to concerts, having lunch or Starbucks drinks with them, or throwing a football with them. 


If you could design a program, what would it be like? 

I would design a program where inclusion, and community matters and where all students and students with disabilities can come and attend colleges across Maryland, like this program. Examples: living on campus, living college life, joining clubs, taking undergraduate courses, activities, jobs on campus, facilities, transportations and attending sports games. Being able to be strong and support inclusion and this community 


Why should all people get to go to college? 

It gives people a chance because college can help prepare people for a life after graduating from college. People should give college a shot before deciding where to go after graduating from high school. Think about what college can do for you and also think about whether college is a great place for you.   


How is college helping you out? 

This TerpsEXCEED program has helped me to become a better student here at the University of Maryland. Being in this program has helped me to complete my first semester of college by supporting me, helping me, having so many friends to help me study and finishing all my work on time, and to find some time to relax.  


What are your dreams after college? 

  • Stay with my family to save money 
  • Go and workout at the gym on Main Street  
  • Live in an apartment
  • Get a good paying job 
  • Start dating in my mid 30s 

(Thank you for sharing with us, Hari!)

Other Think College Projects

Future Quest Island – Explorations is an accessible and standards-based curriculum designed to improve outcomes in the areas of self-concept, social and emotional competence, early college, and career awareness. For more information, please email lori.cooney@umb.edu or visit www.fqie.org.

Learn more about the other projects:

Partner Organizations

New AUCD Resource: Changing the Way We Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

AUCD has partnered with Community Catalyst, clinicians, and self-advocates to produce a series of educational videos about understanding and combating the barriers adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities face when accessing health care.

AUCD is hiring!

The AUCD National Office is hiring for multiple positions. Explore all openings listed on AUCD's employment page.

Fall 2022 AHEAD Webinar Series


AHEAD’s fall webinar program features 9 webinars with 17 speakers, representing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and backgrounds. Check out the schedule.


Accessing Higher Ground (AHG): Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Conference

November 14-18, 2022, in Denver, Colorado

The AHG conference content focuses on accessible technology that provides access and equity to people with disabilities. Topics include PDF conversion, audio description, creating alternate formats, accessible PowerPoints, and more. Learn more and register.

Contact Us

For more information about

Think College newsletters, contact Sheila Johnson,


Think College

National Coordinating Center

Institute for Community Inclusion

University of Massachusetts Boston

Stay Connected with Think College!

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter