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September 2022: News & Updates
News & Announcements
College & Career Learning: Inside and Outside the Classroom
Join us on Nov. 10, 2022 at 2-3pm ET for a webinar with Dr. Katey Burke (pictured left). Dr. Burke will describe the College and Career Learning Model, a practical framework that enables students with intellectual disabilities (ID) 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. Click here to reserve your spot! Keep an eye out for other webinar announcements on Think College social media!
Encourage Students to Engage in our Discussion Group!
Screenshot of 5 students and 1 adult in a Zoom meeting room
The Emerging Advocate Student Group will have its first back-to-campus meeting on Sept. 28, 2022 from 2-3 pm 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 Sept. 28 meeting here. (Parents, program staff, and others may join but remember, this is a meeting for students by students!) Please also encourage students to join our student mailing list at

Photo: Top row left to right: Peach Chinratanalab, Liz Weintraub, Rachel Adams-Duffy. Bottom row left to right: Kenneth Kelty, Majolyn Nunez, Anne Stevenson
Looking for Think College research and evaluation products?
The new Research Products webpage offers easy access to our research and evaluation publications and related products including annual data reports from the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) model demonstration programs, research briefs, fast facts, and peer-reviewed publications.
We are honored to be honored at the Big Game Ball!
7 white women in fancy outfits holding awards
Oh, what a night! On September 1, Think College was acknowledged for their contribution to the field of inclusive higher education at the Big Game Ball, hosted by the National Down Syndrome Congress. Other honorees included Stephanie Smith Lee, Caden Cox, University of Georgia Destination Dawgs, Georgia Tech EXCEL, and Clemson LIFE, as well as University of Oregon Special Education Graduate Program, and Hallmark Channel. Read more.
Photo left to right: Susanna Miller-Raines, Rebecca Lazo, Kathleen Becht, Clare Papay, Meg Grigal, Cate Weir, Debra Hart
Have you heard this good news?
Massachusetts Governor Baker signed a higher education bill into law that will provide inclusive education options for people with ID and Autism at state colleges and universities. Read about it now! (And shout out to Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC), and many others for their hard work on this legislation!)
Student with disabilities sitting down with gold and silver medals on her chest
Check out this video about Pilar Rivera (pictured left), a recent Special Olympics gold medalist and a new student at University of North Texas attending the UNT ELEVAR program, an inclusive postsecondary education program for students with ID.
NCC Accreditation Workgroup
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​​The NCC Accreditation Workgroup has been working hard to develop an accreditation process and guidance for programs seeking accreditation, as well as training and materials for accreditation site reviewers, and an accreditation self-study process. 

This fall, the draft accreditation process will be piloted at the UP program at Western Carolina University. We are excited to be entering this next step in the development of a process by which programs can be accredited, and look forward to all we will learn from this pilot. Following this initial pilot, the NCC will be seeking 4 additional college programs to further pilot and refine this process.  
We’re making progress so stay tuned for updates! For more information, visit the Accreditation Workgroup webpage. 
Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) Fact!
Peer mentors and college students with ID make a great team! Students in 100% of TPSID programs benefited from peer mentoring last year and their mentors did too. Click here to learn more about peer mentoring.
Technical Assistance Question of the Month
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Question: Our state does not have any legislation that supports or provides scholarships for students with ID to attend college. How do I find out what legislation other states have written or proposed? 
Answer: We have many resources, including a webpage called What’s Happening in Your State. We also recommend reviewing this legislation table. It consolidates all current legislation, reports, task forces, and/or program funding related to postsecondary education for students with ID. If you would like to share information with your legislators, we recommend this blog post written by Bridget Brown, a student from the UIC Co-Op Program and this brief, but powerful, handout about positive outcomes for students with ID
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white woman with short hair, wearing glasses, and smiling
by Denise Rozell (pictured right)
Director of Policy Innovation, Education & Employment Team, AUCD
The Higher Education Act, the main piece of federal legislation that affects inclusive college programs, in not being reviewed by Congress right now. So, why should you still pay attention to what Congress is up to? Read more.
Person wearing a black shirt and glasses smiling
by Arin Rook (pictured right)
Knowledge Translation Associate, Think College
Hear from one of the newer members of the Think College team about what they learned so far-- you just might be surprised! Read more.
Think College Affinity Groups
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Are you passionate or curious about a specific aspect of transition or postsecondary education? Whether you want to talk or just listen, a Think College Affinity Group is a good way to engage with others. Click the date for details and connection information.
New! Career and Technical Education
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Affinity Group will bring people involved in inclusive postsecondary programs at CTE institutions and those who would like to become more involved in expanding CTE opportunities for students with ID. Meetings will include facilitated discussion as well as guest speakers/experts from the field. Kickoff meeting: September 20, 3-4pm ET.
New! Community College
The purpose of this group is to provide peer to peer learning and support around community colleges and inclusive postsecondary education. Anyone working at or with community colleges or those who are simply curious about how these programs can work, are welcome. Kickoff meeting: October 12, 4-5pm ET.
Technology and UDL
Topic: Apps for Transition Independence
State Alliances
Topic: Lessons Learned from State Alliances
Student Credentials
Topic: Components of a Program of Study for a college certificate aligned to the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)
College-based Transition Services
Topic: Funding Discussion (Memorandums of Agreement with vocational rehabilitation, capitalizing on pre-ETS, examples of schools using IDEA funds, etc.)
Topic: Networking opportunity - Grab your breakfast and come chat with fellow researchers!
Inclusive Campus Life
Topic: Tools & Tricks for Planning, Documenting, and Grading Required Campus Life Activities
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Topic: How becoming a CTP (Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary) Program can tip the scale for VR support of inclusive postsecondary education programs
New Groups Coming Soon
Other Affinity Groups that will be starting later this fall include Employment Partnerships, Early Career Researcher, and Graduate Student Research. Stay tuned for more details in our next newsletter, or sign up now to receive email notifications about a specific group.
For questions about upcoming Affinity Group meetings, contact Shelby at
Other Think College Projects
The Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network, in partnership with the State of the Art (SOTA) Conference, will be hosting a pre-conference capacity building institute on October 18th, 2022, about the development and expansion of state and regional alliances. Learn more here.

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 or visit
News from our Partners

Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Conference
Accessing Higher Ground 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. The conference includes an Exhibit Hall with over 30 vendors that feature accessible technology and other useful products for creating accessibility for people with disabilities. The conference takes place November 14-18, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Register now.

AUCD 2022 Conference, Washington, DC
This November, more than 1,200 researchers, policymakers, practitioners, professionals, self-advocates, community leaders, and students will come together to celebrate accomplishments and take a deeper dive into Health Equity, the social determinants of health, and the steps needed to ensure that every person is provided the best opportunities possible. Register here.

Capacity Building Institute & Online Events
Save-the-date for the NTACT:C Capacity Building Institute in Charlotte, on May 16 - 18, 2023. Details and registration TBA. In the shorter term and closer to your computer, take advantage of NTACT:C's upcoming webinar Improving Career Outcomes for Youth with Mental Health Challenges on September 28, 2022 and pre-recorded webinars on Work Based Learning ExperiencesInclusive HousingVR Services, and more!

For more information about Think College newsletters, contact:

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

Stay Connected with Think College!