Think College Initiative

Overview of Completed Project

In December 2017, the Think College National Coordinating Center based at the University of Massachusetts awarded the CT UCEDD a Capacity-Building mini-grant. With support from the UCEDD, the CT Think College Statewide Collaborative developed the Connecticut Think College Strategic Plan to support the vision that CT will have a higher education system where ALL students, regardless of ability, have an opportunity to participate fully in all programs and services of every College, University, and postsecondary career training program.  The strategic plan includes goals and objectives in six key areas:

1) Leadership and Sustainability

2) CT Colleges and Universities (Institutions of Higher Education)

3) Family Engagement

4) Self-Advocate Engagement

5) Public School Roles and Responsibilities Including Curriculum

6) Employment Opportunities through Think College. Students enrolled in colleges and universities which develop “Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTPs)” authorized by the 2008 federal Higher Education Opportunity Act can apply for financial aid.

Think College demonstration projects have shown that individuals with ID who attend college show many gains (e.g., academic, in independence, socially, and in obtaining employment) as compared to adolescents and young adults with ID who do not have this opportunity.  College students without disabilities as well as college faculty and staff benefit also.  As a result of this project, CT is now positioned, with or without federal funds, to make Think College and CTPs a reality for students with ID in our state.

More detailed information is available in our final report.

Accomplishments

  • Development of a Connecticut specific data analysis to help determine if the state is ready for a Think College Initiative.