Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance

The Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance was formed in May 2007 to increase awareness about the need for postsecondary opportunities in Tennessee, to gather information about postsecondary programs in other states, and to develop a pilot program on a Tennessee college campus.

The Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance

The first program in Tennessee, Next Steps at Vanderbilt, began in January 2010. The second program, University of Tennessee FUTURE, began in August 2011. Additional programs are currently housed at Lipscomb University (IDEAL), Union University (EDGE), and the University of Memphis (TigerLIFE).

The Alliance continues to encourage more programs on campuses across Tennessee and meets quarterly. The Alliance is comprised of representatives from State and local agencies, self-advocates, and family members, representatives from colleges and universities in Tennessee, and business owners. For information on Alliance meetings, contact laurie.fleming@vanderbilt.edu.

To learn more about the Alliance and to connect with one of Tennessee's five programs, visit the Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance Website at: tnihealliance.org.

Information and Resources

For more information on the activities of the Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance, see the article: Creating Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities.

Tips and Resources fact sheet on Postsecondary Education for Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities.

For more information on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities in Tennessee, search the service database for education services in your county using the Tennessee Disability Pathfinder site, or call (615) 322-8529, toll-free (800) 640-INFO [4636].

Alliance Representatives

The Tennessee Inclusive Higher Education Alliance is made up of representatives from the following organizations:

  • Autism Society of Middle Tennessee
  • The Arc of Williamson County
  • Belmont University
  • Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities
  • David Lipscomb University
  • Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee
  • Families of individuals with intellectual disabilities
  • Holiday Inn Select at Vanderbilt
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Tennessee Department of Education
  • Tennessee Department of Human Services
  • Tennessee Division of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities
  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville
  • University of Tennessee FUTURE (UT FUTURE)
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Williamson County Transition Academy

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Links

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University - Postsecondary Education for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Education, social skills, and vocational training program for students with intellectual disabilities. Next Steps at Vanderbilt provides educational experiences for students beyond high school and awards two-year certification at graduation.

Other Links and Resources

University of Tennessee FUTURE Program
The mission of the FUTURE Program is to empower students to achieve gainful employment in the community.

Think College - Newsletters and Publications
Newsletters and publications from Think College.

Going to College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities
Provides video clips, activities, and resources that can help students get a head start in planning for college. Video interviews with college students with disabilities offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful. Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.

Printable Materials and Resources

Postsecondary Education Tip Sheet

Postsecondary Pathways for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities