Include College Campaign Brings Focus to Programs for Students with Disabilities
by Devika Rao
Include College is the newest campaign launched by the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium (GAIPSEC) to bring attention to nine inclusive college programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across Georgia.
Currently, the following universities, colleges and technical colleges have inclusive programs in Georgia: University of Georgia, Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, East Georgia State College, Albany Technical College, University of West Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Kennesaw State University.
There are 140 students enrolled in the nine programs, but plans are to grow exponentially. “The goal of this campaign is for parents, students, family members and educators to include college in a student’s transition planning as an option after high school,” said Susanna Miller-Raines, statewide coordinator for GAIPSEC.
Include College is a clearing house that allows parents, students and other stakeholders to receive complete information on the college programs and steps to include in planning for life after high school. This includes understanding all of the colleges’ different offerings, how to plan for college options throughout the student’s K-12 career and various agencies and organizations that can support parents through the process.
Georgia’s college programs are inclusive in campus life and academic offerings, and they also prepare students with job training and independent living skills. Students with disabilities who attend inclusive college programs have a higher chance to receive job opportunities in competitive, integrated employment. In Georgia, 75% of the 2017 graduates are now employed.
With a grant from the US Department of Education, the programs originated in 2010, and GAIPSEC aims to build the capacity to serve 100 new students per year across Georgia.
The campaign is supported by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) with support to its Five Year Plan goal of education. Specifically, GCDD aims to expand the number of successful inclusive post-secondary educational programs in Georgia to 13 by 2022.
About GAIPSEC: Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium is dedicated to ensuring that every Georgia student has access to learning after high school, regardless of intellectual or developmental disability. The Consortium is made up of colleges and universities, community support agencies, families and K-12 educators. Together, its mission ensures that every Georgia student with an intellectual or developmental disability has the opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
Include College Fast Facts:
- 140 – Number of Students enrolled in State of Georgia Inclusive College Programs in the 2018 – 19 Academic Year
- 75% of 2017 College Graduates of Inclusive College Programs are employed
- 9 – Number of Inclusive College Programs in the State of Georgia and 1 – Georgia College preparing to start a new program
- 88% of Inclusive College Students graduate from their program
- 250+ – Number of Inclusive College Options throughout the United States.
- $500,000 from the State supports studies and programming for Inclusive Colleges in Georgia
- $500,000 from the US Gov for five years (2015-2020) from a Department of Education Grant
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