Welcome to Think College!
Doors to colleges are opening for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in many different ways all over the country. This website is designed to share what is currently going on, provide resources and strategies, let you know about training events, and give you ways to talk to others. The information is for transition aged students as well as adults attending or planning for college. It provides resources and tools for students, families, and professionals: click on the tabs above to see what’s here for you.
Think College is an initiative of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. ICI has been a leader in the area of postsecondary education for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities for over ten years. As interest in postsecondary education for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities has expanded, so has the need for research and training in this area. ICI currently has three federal grants designed to conduct research, training, and technical assistance for professionals, families, and students related to postsecondary education for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Think College focuses on three primary areas in postsecondary education for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Research: Think College conducts research on current and promising practices that support individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to gain access to and be successful in inclusive postsecondary education. It also identifies gaps in knowledge about the participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities by conducting a national survey of existing postsecondary options and completing a secondary analysis of three national databases to learn more about the impact postsecondary educational opportunities have on people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. To gain insight into the impact of postsecondary education from the perspective of students and other stakeholders, Think College is conducting Participatory Action Research with college students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as family members and other stakeholders.
Training and Technical Assistance: Think College provides training and technical assistance using a number of venues. Think College publishes Research to Practice Briefs, Policy Briefs, E-Newsletters, and other print materials, supports Capacity Building Institutes in various locations across the country, and is developing web-based training modules and a Community of Practice all devoted to postsecondary education for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The Think College website provides access to searchable databases of existing college options. It has also developed databases on related literature and training and technical assistance materials, as well as a web-based self-assessment tool based on promising practices.
Dissemination: Think College is supported by a collaborative effort of seven University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and other national organizations. These partners will support large-scale dissemination of the knowledge developed by this initiative. Think College will produce a number of reports that detail how postsecondary education initiatives implement promising practices, and the types of activities and outcomes (employment, independent living, continued postsecondary education access) available for students with intellectual disabilities.