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Presentation on theme: "P OSTSECONDARY E DUCATION FOR S TUDENTS WITH I NTELLECTUAL D ISABILITIES : Creating Opportunities in Tennessee 2009."— Presentation transcript:



3 D EFINITION : I NTELLECTUAL D ISABILITY Significant learning and cognitive disabilities that impact a student’s ability to access course content without educational supports and services Typically includes students who take the alternative state assessment exit secondary education with an alternative diploma (i.e., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance) qualify to receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) until they are 21

4 D EFINITION : P OSTSECONDARY E DUCATION (PSE) Education after the high-school (secondary) level Options include community colleges, four-year colleges, and vocational-technical colleges Until recently the option of having the “college experience” has not been available to students with intellectual disabilities

5 W HAT DO STUDENTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES T END TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL ? Current high school experience Increasingly in inclusive settings with expanded opportunities Typical postsecondary options Segregated life-skills Community-based transition programs

6 W HAT DO STUDENTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES T END TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL ? Limited employment options Of all students with disabilities, those with intellectual disabilities have the poorest post- school outcomes

7 O VERVIEW : M ODELS OF PSE P ROGRAMS Three typical PSE models: Mixed or Hybrid Substantially Separate Totally Inclusive Within each model, a wide range of supports and services are provided

8 P OTENTIAL B ARRIERS TO P ARTICIPATION IN PSE P ROGRAMS Attitude Low expectations Access to funding Access to transportation Admissions requirements

9 P OSTSECONDARY PROGRAMS IN THE U NITED S TATES reports: 145 currently identified postsecondary education programs across 36 states

10 O VERVIEW : P OSTSECONDARY E DUCATION IN T ENNESSEE Prior to 2009 Zero (0) programs in Tennessee Establishment of Postsecondary Education Task Force Tennessee Ties to National Training Institute Development of first PSE program in Tennessee

11 O RIGINAL PSE C OMMITTEE M EMBERS Sharon Bottorff The Arc of Williamson County Elise McMillan Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Sheila Moore Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee Wanda Willis Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Began meeting in 2004

12 T ENNESSEE T ASK F ORCE FOR P OSTSECONDARY E DUCATION FOR S TUDENTS W ITH I NTELLECTUAL D ISABILITIES Groups and Organizations Represented: The Arc of Williamson County Autism Society of Middle Tennessee Department of Human Services Division of Mental Retardation Services Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee Higher Education Commission Metro Nashville Public Schools Rutherford County Schools Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Tennessee Technology Center Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Various higher education institutions in Nashville and the surrounding area Williamson County Schools Involved parents, community members, and business leaders Began meeting in 2006

13 F IRST S TEPS : PSE T ASK F ORCE A CTIVITIES Identified priorities and purpose Examined and visited existing programs Developed a statewide survey on parental perspectives

14 P URPOSE OF THE PSE T ASK F ORCE To plan and support the development of postsecondary programs on Tennessee college campuses that will empower students with intellectual disabilities by providing course work that: Continues academic development Develops independent living skills Fosters career opportunities

15 E XAMINED AND V ISITED C URRENT P ROGRAMS Representatives from the PSE Task Force made site visits to: Montgomery College (MD) The College of New Jersey and Mercer County Community College (NJ) Western Kentucky University (KY) Identified common and unique characteristics of these and other programs across the country

16 S TATEWIDE SURVEY Statewide survey administered to parents of high school students with intellectual disabilities to: collect their perspectives on postsecondary education identify barriers that hinder participation learn what parents hope their children would gain from a PSE program identify concerns Data to guide the development of a potential PSE program in Tennessee

17 S URVEY R ESPONDENTS Survey distribution groups (e.g., DSAMT, ASMT) disability networks and community agencies Students with intellectual disabilities in Tennessee age 18+ answered several open-ended questions Families of students with intellectual disabilities who live in Tennessee Parents were the primary respondents

18 S URVEY D EMOGRAPHICS : P RIMARY R ESPONDENTS 109 respondents 90% of respondents were parents (versus guardians, siblings or other family members) 90% were female 86% were 40 years or older 80% work part or full time

19 S URVEY D EMOGRAPHICS : S TUDENTS WITH I NTELLECTUAL D ISABILITIES Gender 66% male 34% female Age 17% aged 15 years or younger 30% aged 16-17 years 31% aged 18-19 years 10% aged 20-21 years 10% aged 22 years or older

20 S URVEY D EMOGRAPHICS : S TUDENTS WITH I NTELLECTUAL D ISABILITIES Diagnosis of disability 36% Mental Retardation 36% Autism Spectrum Disorder 29% Developmental Disability 17% Down Syndrome 10% Cerebral Palsy Reading level 31% read at First Grade level or lower 33% read at Second – Fifth Grade level 36% read at Sixth Grade level or higher

21 S URVEY F INDINGS : P LANNING FOR PSE Has the school staff encouraged your child to continue in an educational setting after high school? Mean of 2.87 (on 1-5 scale) 22% of respondents indicated the highest score (5) Does your child’s IEP include a plan for the time immediately after high school? 26% = yes 53% = no 21% = not sure

22 S URVEY F INDINGS : B ARRIERS What barriers have you encountered in trying to understand all the options available to your child? 73% Lack of general information or guidance 37% School staff did not help me understand 36% Financial constraints 30% Different services did not work well together 27% Long waiting list for explanation of services

23 S URVEY F INDINGS : P ARENTAL A TTITUDES Although parents had more positive attitudes toward PSE than educators, their expectations differed by student’s reading level Parents of students with lower reading levels were: less likely to think that PSE would help their children transition to adulthood less interested in educational opportunities after high school less often encouraged by school staff to pursue PSE less likely to enroll their child in PSE

24 S URVEY F INDINGS : P ARENTAL CONCERNS How concerned are you about each of the following factors? Distance of the program from home Cost of the program Your child’s physical health Your child’s safety Your child’s ability to function without you Experience similar to college Focus on employment after program Most concerned = Your child’s safety (4.72) Least concerned = Experience similar to college (3.37)

25 S URVEY F INDINGS : P ARENTAL PRIORITIES How important is it to you that the following is included in a PSE program? Residential options Inclusive learning environments Individual choice in curriculum Structured social activities Access to a college campus Certification in a vocational area Focus on employment after program Most = Focus on employment after program (4.37) Least = Residential options (3.72)

26 I MPACT OF S URVEY Expanded prior studies by asking about specific priorities involved in deciding to enroll in PSE programs Helped Tennessee PSE Task Force to understand families’ needs, concerns, and priorities Helped lead to Tennessee’s first PSE program

27 PSE IN T ENNESSEE : 2008 D EVELOPMENTS Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Demonstration Grant To demonstrate new approaches to services and supports A “Call for Applications” (CFA) to all Tennessee higher education institutions to develop a model program Grant = $175,000 for each of 3 years, beginning January 1, 2009

28 PSE IN T ENNESSEE : 2008 D EVELOPMENTS Awarded to Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) PI’s—Elise McMillan, J.D. and Robert Hodapp, Ph.D. Partnering Organizations: Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Project Opportunity Tennessee Board of Regents (Tennessee Technology Center on Whitebridge Road) Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University

29 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : W HO ? Day program for cohorts of 8 young adults with intellectual disabilities All students aged 18 to 26 All students have intellectual disabilities All students have exited high school without receiving a regular education diploma Only those students accepted who can benefit from program (academically, socially, and vocationally)

30 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : W HAT ? W HERE ? On Vanderbilt University campus for: Some academic subjects All social-extracurricular activities Life-functional-other skills training class es On Tennessee Technology Center for: Job training (1 of 9 programs that do not require a high school diploma)Examples include Auto Body Repair; Cosmetology; Data Processing; and Machine Tool Technology

31 S TRENGTHS Strong collaboration with DD Council & other Tennessee disability and higher education institutions Program has resonated with Vanderbilt University administrators Program (and outreach efforts) promises to help in many directions Help young adults with ID and families to achieve greater degrees of independence Help Vanderbilt and other higher education institutions’ “service learning” mission Help infuse contact and awareness of individuals with disabilities into higher education settings

32 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : W HEN ? Year 1 (2009) = planning year Year 2 = start program January 2010: 1 st cohort (through May 2011) August 2010: 2 nd cohort (through May 2012) Year 3 = sustain program, develop outreach Bridge ½ year (spring 2012)—end 2 nd cohort

33 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : Y EAR O NE Planning Year (January 1 – December 31, 2009) Hire director and assistant director Finalize program details Program physical space on Vanderbilt University campus Tying to Vanderbilt and to Tennessee Technology Center Developing admissions criteria, disseminating information (i.e., applications), admitting 1 st class Operating program Finalizing curricula, staffing, etc.

34 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : Y EAR T WO Implementation (January 2010) First class/cohort begins Program operation 2 nd class/cohort applies, admissions, begins fall 2010 Outreach worker hired and starts outreach to Tennessee community colleges Aggressive plans to sustain program past TN DD Council grant

35 VKC PSE P ROGRAM : Y EAR T HREE Implementing and Sustaining (2011) Efforts to sustain program past TN DD Council grant Ties to Tennessee community colleges, with plans to help 1+ start their own program

36 VKC PSE P ROGRAM F UNDING Tuition Scholarships Philanthropy Vocational Rehabilitation AmeriCorps grants New opportunities in the Higher Education Act

37 VKC PSE P ROGRAM O UTCOMES Certificate of completion, which needs to be both meaningful locally, and aligned to federal criteria once they are developed System of gathering materials (e.g. portfolio) to present in a meaningful way to employers System of tracking progress in various domains (e.g. employment, independent living, etc.) after exiting the program



40 N ATIONAL T RAINING I NITIATIVE G RANT : C ONSORTIUM OF N ATIONAL PSE L EADERS National Training Initiative (NTI) funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) The training initiative is called the National Consortium for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities in Postsecondary Education FY 2008/9- FY 2014

41 C ONSORTIUM P ARTICIPANTS Lead institution: Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston (PI: Deb Hart, Ph.D.) 5 institutions are first-level collaborators Vanderbilt was asked to participate as one of 4 partnering institutions; the others are Ohio State University, the University of South Carolina, and UCLA

42 R OLES OF P ARTNERING I NSTITUTIONS Assist with outreach to other PSE initiatives Pilot the survey that will be refined with input Pilot training and technical assistance materials created through the grant Participate in Capacity Building Institutes Conduct training and provide technical assistance locally to new PSE programs



45 PSE T ASK F ORCE N EXT S TEPS Increase Public Awareness Engage LEAs and State Board of Education Encourage the development of PSE programs at other Tennessee Colleges and Universities Explore funding opportunities Implement and disseminate best practices

46 C ONTACT INFORMATION Tammy Day: (615) 343-0822 Sharon Bottorff: (615) 790-5815, Megan Griffin: (850) 529-9383, Elise McMillan: (615) 343-2540,


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