Registration is now open for the 2015 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Held November 12-13 in Fairfax, Virginia, the conference is sponsored by George Mason University’s Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human Disabilities and The Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University.

For more information, visit the conference website.

The Think College National Coordinating Center completes annual reports offering descriptive data and trend analysis using data collected from 27 federally funded Transition Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) projects, providing a comprehensive knowledge base on postsecondary education access and outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.

To view the report click here.

WSMV (channel 4) will follow two Next Steps at Vanderbilt students through their first year. Click the link below to watch the initial story and to get to know the students and the objectives of this postsecondary education experience on Vanderbilt’s campus.

Students With Intellectual Disabilities Attend Vanderbilt Through Next Steps

Austin Peay State University (APSU) is launching a pilot program designed to assist APSU students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dubbed “Full Spectrum Learning (FSL),” the program seeks to provide comprehensive support for students with ASD as they advance through the college experience. Modeled after a successful program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, dubbed “MoSAIC,” FSL students will receive one-on-one tutoring, peer mentoring, life coaching and support from FSL staff as they navigate the challenges of college life.

To read the full FSL announcement, click here.

During the Spring of 2015, an electronic survey was disseminated across 67 higher education institutions related to University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs). The objective was to gain an understanding of the overall UCEDD Network programs engaged in postsecondary education (PSE) activities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The report is linked here.

The 2016 Capacity Building Institute for Southeast Inclusive Postsecondary Education Programs is scheduled for April 4 & 5, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Attend for a time to learn, plan and share 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, interested others.

For more information contact Susanna Miller at: or 404-413-1013

Union University’s EDGE Program, which is the 5th postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee, was featured in this this local news report.

Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion, UMASS Boston serves as the National Coordinating Center (NCC) for 27 Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) model demonstration projects. As part of its evaluation efforts, the NCC completes annual reports offering descriptive data and trend analysis as well as findings from focus groups. These reports represent the most comprehensive knowledge base related to postsecondary education access and outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Annual Report may be accessed here.

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program will provide support for VR eligible students participating in PSE Programs in Tennessee for the 2015-2016 Year. This is the second year of this pilot program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These programs are currently as follows:

  • University of Memphis- TigerLife
  • Vanderbilt University- Next Steps
  • Lipscomb University- IDEAL
  • University of Tennessee- FUTURE
  • Union University-EDGE

The PSE Programs focus on Postsecondary options for students with Intellectual Disabilities at Colleges and Universities. These programs are another option to assist students in the transition from school to work.

This is year two of this pilot program, the amount authorized by VR will continue to be a flat rate of $2400.00 per student/per semester.

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 an employment setting;

· Develop or increase work tolerance; or

· Orient the individual to the world of work.

· Provide training on self-advocacy.

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.

The five postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee had invigorating and successful academic years. Exciting program updates may be accessed below.

Congratulations to all of the 2015 graduates!

The Union EDGE

Next Steps at Vanderbilt

David Lipscomb IDEAL

University of Tennessee FUTURE

University of Memphis TigerLIFE

next posts >>