News and Media

Postsecondary Scholarships Available From The Arc Williamson County

The Arc Williamson County announces the availability of two postsecondary scholarship opportunities. In partnership with Alice Jackson, and Prime Trust, the eighth Robert H. Carter/The Arc Scholarship will be awarded this spring. This $500 scholarship is intended to benefit a student graduating from Franklin High School who utilized student support services. The scholarship is in memory of Robert Howell Carter, a 1975 graduate of Franklin High School, and a young man with special needs who continued his post secondary education at Columbia State Community College. Requirements include: student will graduate (any type of degree) from Franklin High School; student has a disability, excluding gifted, which qualified him/her as needing student support services during his/her high school years; and student has plans for post-secondary education including 4 year college, 2 year college, vocational training program, continuing education, etc.

The Arc Williamson County is also pleased to announce The Arc Postsecondary Scholarship intended for students who will be attending either Next Steps at Vanderbilt or IDEAL at David Lipscomb. Requirements for this scholarship include: the student must be a resident of Williamson County; and the student must have been accepted to one of the programs. The amount of the scholarship has yet to be determined.

Applications for either scholarship can be found at The Arc’s website The deadline for submission of applications is April 15, 2015.

TN PSE Alliance at the State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

The Tennessee Alliance for Postsecondary Opportunities for Students With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was well-represented at the State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities held November 20-21, 2014. Leadership from all four of Tennessee’s postsecondary education programs presented. The conference occurs annually and is a gathering of professionals and interested parties to discuss the current state of research and practice in the field of postsecondary education.

Below, is a listing of the presentations offered by PSE Alliance members.

Creating Engaging and Effective Lessons to Build Employment-Related Skills

Presenters: Misty Vetter Parsley and Mallory Whitmore (IDEAL at David Lipscomb)

Students with disabilities often need assistance with employment-related skills like interaction, communication, and technology. This session explored engaging lessons for teaching these skills in an effective manner using well established lesson planning techniques such as a set, formative assessment, and closure.

Sustaining Success: Two Statewide Models for Capacity Building and System Change

Presenters: Tom Beeson (FUTURE Program at University of Tennessee), Tammy Day (Next Steps at Vanderbilt), Mallory Whitmore and Misty Vetter Parsley (IDEAL at David Lipscomb), Maurice Williams and Chrisann Schiro-Geist (TigerLIFE at University of Memphis)

Recruitment, Capacity Building, and Improved Programming through Summer Residential


Presenter: Tammy Day (Next Steps at Vanderbilt)

People are best able to understand a task, a situation, and an opportunity through prior learning and experiences. This premise is why a week-long summer residential experience is a perfect way for youth to determine if a college experience might be right for them. They get to actually see themselves on campus.

For more on the State of the Art Conference, visit the conference website.

College and Beyond: Empowering Young Women With Disabilities

Next Steps at Vanderbilt has produced a powerful new video that highlights how postsecondary education is possible for all, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The video especially emphasizes the positive effects a college experience can have on young women with disabilities.Watch the video.

Introducing the Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance

The Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) has formed in an effort to promote resources, collaboration, education, and access to quality PSE opportunities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and beyond.

SEPSEA will hold a Capacity Building Institute for Southeast Inclusive Postsecondary Education Programs on April 16 & 17, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. Time will be spent learning, planning, and sharing thoughts and strategies about inclusive postsecondary education opportunities in Southeastern colleges and universities.

Who should attend? Faculty and staff from colleges and universities offering or considering inclusive postsecondary programs, students and peer mentors, transition coordinators, representatives from state departments of education and vocational rehabilitation, and others interested in building our capacity in this area.

For more information, or to join the SEPSEA College & University listserv, send an email to Susanna Miller at smiller65@gsu.edu.

Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Offers Webinar Series

The Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) provides grants to institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education to enable them to create or expand high quality, inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities. TPSID is offering the following webinars to the general public. All meetings begin at 3:00 pm (EST).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Topic: Applying to become a Certified Transition Program
Click here for meeting link

Monday, November 24, 2014

Topic: Family engagement
Click here for meeting link

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Using Technology to Support College Students with ID
Click here for meeting link

Monday, February 23, 2015
Topic: Participatory Action Research
Click here for meeting link

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Topic: Inclusive Campus Communities
Click here for meeting link

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Topic: VR Partnerships
Click here for meeting link

Tennessee’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Announces Support of Students in PSE Programs

In a memorandum shared July 10, 2014, Vocational Rehabilitation Program Director, Yovancha H. Lewis-Brown, announced that effective July 1, support will be provided for VR eligible students participating in Postsecondary Education Programs in Tennessee.

These programs are currently:

  • University of Memphis- TigerLife
  • Vanderbilt University- NextSteps
  • Lipscomb University- IDEAL
  • University of Tennessee- FUTURE

The PSE Programs focus on postsecondary options for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Colleges and Universities. These programs are another option to assist students in the transition from school to work.

Prior to the beginning of each semester, the school’s program staff, the student and the VR Counselor will discuss recommendations. The recommendations will be based on observations and assessments. Recommendations should include activities that:

  • Assist the individual to acquire personal and work habits, skills and techniques that will enable functioning in a formal training or employment setting;
  • Develop or increase work tolerance; or
  • Orient the individual to the world of work.

The VR Counselor will ensure this service in added to the IPE prior to the beginning of the program. The client and VR counselor will agree that this is a needed service. An authorization will be sent to the school stating the amount authorized.

Lewis-Brown expressed excitement for the opportunity to provide these services to the individuals VR serves.

First and Second year Tennessee Students With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Receive Lottery Scholarships

Starting in the 2013-2014 academic year, the Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship was awarded to eligible students enrolled in one of the four postsecondary
education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee. Scholarship recipients receive $4,000 per year for a maximum of two years.

To be eligible, a student must be a Tennessee resident, graduate high school in his or her own Individual Education Program, and be admitted to and enroll in an eligible postsecondary institution no later than 16 months after graduation.The scholarship was originally awarded to students who were starting their first year with the programs in 2013. On June 2, Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation that amended the Tennessee code to retroactively award the scholarships to enrolled and eligible second year students who would have received the award had it been in effect for the 2012-2013 academic year.

For more information, click here.

6/3/2014 Governor Bill Haslam signs the STEP Up Scholarship bill

TigerLIFE in the NEWS!

In this Local Memphis news story, faculty and students at TigerLIFE beautifully illustrate the importance of integration in education and the effectiveness of postsecondary education on the lives of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Watch the story here.

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