Inclusive Higher Education
College Programs for Students with Disabilities
Since 2006, the Council has worked to establish inclusive higher education (IHE) programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on college campuses across Tennessee. These efforts have included forming a statewide alliance with universities and disability advocacy partners to promote these programs and providing direct funding for four out of the five current IHE programs in TN.
These non-degree programs provide students with intellectual and developmental disabilities employment and independent living skills. Students take college courses, have internships and jobs, and build relationships with their peers without disabilities. A primary goal of all programs is to provide career exploration through internships that help the student experience a variety of potential work environments.
Outcomes about our work related to Inclusive Higher Education, in partnership with many other disability organizations, include:
- Establishment of the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance
- Establishment of 5 postsecondary programs, 4 with direct Council start-up funding. All 5 of TN's programs are certified as "Comprehensive Training Programs", as defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.
- Passage of the Step Up Scholarship, which allows students to access lottery scholarship funds as financial assistance to attend these PSE programs, like all TN students are eligible for the HOPE lottery scholarship