Accessible Education For Students with an Intellectual Disability
Florida Consortium helps to provide information on inclusive Florida college programs to students with an intellectual disability and their families as well as postsecondary and secondary staff. Students with an intellectual disability are attending college courses, on campuses around the country, with peers without disabilities, and engaged in internships and paid employment in their communities. As with their peers without disabilities, students with an intellectual disability are also active in their college’s organizations, clubs, and social activities.
Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education
The Mission: Access to Postsecondary Education and Careers.
The Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education (FCIHE) is charged with increasing access to and engagement in college coursework and college life (clubs, organizations, and campus activities) culminating in a chosen career path and competitive employment for individuals with an intellectual disability.
What is the FCIHE?
The Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education represents a partnership between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP), Florida International University (FIU), and the Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ). The Consortium was funded in 2015, $2.5 million dollars over five (5) years through a federal grant authorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.
What Can We Do For You?
1. Mini-Grants: We award start-up or enhancement grants (up to $25,000 each) to institutions of higher education over the 5 years of the grant to sites that align with the Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) and plans for sustainability (each grant may be written for up to $24,999).
2. Annual Hartwick Symposium: We develop this annual symposium for postsecondary program personnel and students as well as secondary teachers, students, and families to engage in the goal of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability.
3. Website: Visit the interactive website. FCIHE.com. There is something for everyone.
4. Technical Assistance: We assist institutions in development and enhancement of programs through Site Visits & Professional Development.
5. Community Partnerships: We strive to connect stakeholders to our community agencies and supports, including Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS), and Family Network on Disabilities (FND)
6.Program Evaluation: We collect data to identify what is and is not working.
Three Main FCIHE Objectives.
1. Grow the Opportunities: Increase and enhance the inclusive postsecondary education programs on campuses across Florida for young adults with an intellectual disability and their families.
2. Curriculum & Credentialing Alignment: Collaborate with Florida postsecondary programs for students with an intellectual disability and other key stakeholders to facilitate alignment of curriculum and credentialing among the institutions.
3. Increase the Research Base: Develop and disseminate meaningful research in this area research through peer-reviewed articles, conference presentations, and training.
Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 & TPSID Grants
Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, often referred to as TPSID grants, are funded under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). These discretionary funds were specifically earmarked to provide grants to institutions of higher education or universities, state, and career and technical colleges, to facilitate the creation and expansion of high quality, inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability. In 2015, a second iteration of TPSID grants and Think College, National Coordinating Center, were funded through 2020. The FCIHE is one of the 25 federal grants funded $500,000 annually.
What is a CTP?
Simply, a CTP is a federal accreditation of high-quality access to college for students with an intellectual disability.
Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs (CTPs) are defined in HEOA as a degree, certificate or non-degree program that is:
- offered by an institution of higher education;
- designed to support students with [an intellectual disability] who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction at an institution of higher education in order to prepare for gainful employment; and
- includes an advising and curriculum structure.
The National Coordinating Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston
Think College is a clearinghouse of information and resources on Inclusive Higher Education. Access ThinkCollege.net to find out more about what students with an intellectual disability are doing at more than 50 colleges around the United States. For a quick national picture of Inclusive Higher Education for students with intellectual disability, check out Think College’s annual report.