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If you want to be in the know about what’s going on with IN! and inclusive higher education in Colorado, you’ve come to the right place.


ACC, UNC, and UCCS are currently accepting applicants for the 2021/22 schoolyear. Specific information for each school is outlined in this article.

In 2021 we are looking forward to preparing for expansion, kicking off our first student led mentorship program, looking at what life is like for students after college, enhancing our education and outreach program, and celebrating the first graduates at the University of Northern Colorado.

It's Colorado Gives Day and we know you will be asked to help so many vital causes. We also understand that this has been a challenging year for all of us. For this reason, our ask is small. Consider giving up just one coffee each month and using that $5 to join our monthly giving club. This is a small request but a HUGE amount to students with intellectual disabilities in Colorado who have a college dream!

"Ultimately, this will help IN! add a new inclusive higher education program at a fourth university partner school and create more opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to realize their college and career dreams." - Steve Phua, President, and CEO of Wonderland Homes

UNC GOAL to host a virtual open house on December 3rd, 5:30-6:30pm; Dylan, a senior at ACC, prepares to graduate and pursue his goal to become a group fitness instructor; IN! continues to virtually offer Q&A sessions for parents, drop-in office hours for teachers, and one-on-one meetings open to anyone looking to learn more about college options for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

In May 2021, a new group of students with intellectual disabilities will graduate from college in Colorado! Dylan is one of those students.

Since we can't be out in the community meeting with you all (which is what we really love) we are adapting and launching virtual office hours to answer your questions about applying for college, life on a college campus, funding for higher education, preparing for college, and more!

What is Inclusive Higher Education? When you give to IN!, what are you supporting?

School is back in session! 70 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities are continuing to pave the way for future students in Colorado. Grace is one of these students. In this letter, we are covering Grace's journey to higher education, and hope to remind everyone that college acceptance is not always a straight path - and that's okay!

Have you ever wondered how college and work may impact your benefits? Learn more about how benefits counseling can help address common fears related to employment and benefits.

This month, Colorado witnessed our first graduates of inclusive higher education pathways for students with intellectual disabilities at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).
In this special edition newsletter we are recapping their final semester of college and celebrating this major accomplishment!

Recently I had the chance to interview two of Elevate at ACC's first students to graduate this year.

Congrats Kacie and Jazmine on your graduation from Arapahoe Community College!

College graduation is a proud achievement for any student. But, for a group of Colorado students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it is a major milestone.

Can you help us get the word out about this major accomplishment and honor these trailblazers?

Because of YOU, IN! is 5 years old today. We want to celebrate with you! A huge thank you to this amazing community of students, families, educators, and supporters who believe in inclusion, believe in higher education opportunities for everyone, and believe that anything is possible! Let's look back on all that we have accomplished and blow out the candles with our wish for the next 5 years!

While we won't be out in the community much in the next few weeks, we wanted to give you some insight into what our office/home work entails.

Inclusive Higher Education is not only some of the first exposure to inclusion for students with disabilities, but it can also be new for instructors. So how do they respond to students with intellectual disabilities in their classes?

Last summer, Isabelle, a student at University of Northern Colorado, participated in Youth Leadership Forum (YLF).

Kacie, who will graduate from ACC in May, wrote an article for IN!'s blog about how she has changed from her freshman to senior year of college.

It's a busy spring for inclusive higher education in Colorado. Check out the link to learn about upcoming application deadlines, open houses, community events, webinars, and other resources. We hope to connect with you soon!

Ashley Mabry, who looks forward to family game night, sometimes watches TV and loves her internship at the ARC Pikes Peak Region, knew she wanted to go to college since the fourth grade, when she entered a “talent development” program at Hilltop Baptist School in Colorado Springs.

The first graduates of inclusive higher education are inspiring a new generation of students! Hear what advice college seniors with intellectual disabilities have for incoming college students.

Interested in going to college next school year (2020-21)? Applications are open! Check this blog post for links to applications for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at ACC, UNC, and UCCS.

Our Education and Outreach Program Coordinator shares about why she works for IN!. Here's an excerpt: "Above all else, I work for IN! because it has given me a friendship with my sister. I do not have to be the caregiver. There is more in this world for Haleigh than living with her boring older sister. (Did I mention that my sister never wanted to live with me anyways?)"

IN! partnered with the Colorado Department of Education to host a webinar on preparing students with disabilities for higher education. It's now available to view online!

With residential options available at UNC and UCCS, inclusive higher education is not limited to a regional area. In December IN! is traveling to Grand Junction and Pueblo. Get the details here!

While Mia, Ashley, and Nick prepare to graduate in May 2020, they are continuing to leave their mark on higher education and enhancing pathways for future students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This month, the three graduating seniors from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) presented at the 2019 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Reno, Nevada. Their session: Steps for Designing Creative College Modifications. The audience: Higher education professionals.

Jazmine, a student receiving inclusive services at Arapahoe Community College, is set to graduate in May 2020. Jazmine's dedication to caring for others has fueled her passion for the nursing field. She currently holds an internship with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Jazmine will graduate with a Nurse Aide Certificate and Comprehensive Higher Education Certificate. Learn more about Jazmine by clicking the link.

Last month we introduced you to Mia, Nick, and Ashley. In May 2020, they will become the first students receiving inclusive higher education services to graduate from UCCS. We spoke with each about their post-graduation plans. Click the link above to hear from them.

Employment Coordinators play a critical role in inclusive higher education. They support students in bridging their academic work and the world of work. Joshua Johnson is the Employment Coordinator for UNC GOAL. Check out what his day-to-day work entails.

Inclusive higher education hit a milestone in Colorado in the spring when two schools achieved Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) status! Students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in a CTP may access federal financial aid.

Johnson Storage and Moving's 2019 Backyard BBQ and Truck Pull raised $10,600 to benefit IN! - Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education and Easterseals Colorado.

First graduates are announced for May 2020, UCCS Office of Inclusive Services to host an open house on October 8th, we share a list of resources for parents, a new FAQ page is launched, Johnson Storage and Moving annual truck pull raises funds for IN! and Easterseals, and IN! receives a grant from Developmental Pathways.

In May 2020, six students will become the first students with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Colorado to graduate from schools offering inclusive higher education pathways.

Visiting campus is one of the best ways to find out what a college is like. In this post, we cover what the campus tour is, what to look for, how to get connected, and ways to discover a campus without visiting in person.

Fall is the season for college fairs. Learn more about attending college fairs in this blog post.

Three higher education professionals were honored as the IN!spirational Person of the Year. Each has demonstrated commitment to including students with intellectual disabilities on college campuses.

For many college students, summer break offers a time to dive further into their career interests.

Michael, a student at UCCS, spoke with us about why he decided to go to college.

Joshua Johnson and the GOAL program were featured on the Bear in Mind podcast and in UNC Today. Click the link to hear Joshua speak about GOAL and the supports provided to students.

ACC, UNC, and UCCS have approved Comprehensive Higher Education Certificates (CHEC) for students at their schools accessing inclusive higher education services! Click the title for more details.

Not sure if your child will like college? Wanting to see what it's all about? Summer camps on college/university campuses are a great way for students of all ages to start thinking about what it means to be a college student. This summer, ACC is launching Elevate Camp.

We interviewed Hannah, a peer mentor at UCCS. Read what she has to say about what makes being a peer mentor unique and how it has impacted her time as a college student.

We interviewed Abbey, a peer mentor at UNC. Learn more about the important work of peer mentors! They truly are the glue to inclusive higher education.

For Aaron, a student at UNC, success comes in many shapes and sizes. This includes joining a fraternity, transferring from a community college to university, and building self awareness.

The Comprehensive Higher Education Certificate, offered through Elevate at ACC, was approved as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). Under CTP status, non-degree seeking students with intellectual disabilities may access federal financial aid.

State of the Art Conference Highlights

While inclusive higher education became available in Colorado in 2016, other parts of the country have been engaging in this practice for over a decade. Each year, professionals, teachers, and parents gather at the State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to discuss progress made and current trends in inclusive higher education.
This year's keynote speaker, Kayla McKeon, was truly inspiring. Kayla is a lobbyist for the National Down Syndrome Society and the first Capitol Hill lobbyist with Down Syndrome. In her speech, she noted, “I hope to one day graduate from college....These are normal life goals we share with others.”

EnerCom generously supports IN!
EnerCom generously supports IN!

To kick off their 26th annual Oil & Gas Conference in Denver, EnerCom hosted industry leaders for an afternoon Golf Tournament at Arrowhead Golf Club. For the second year in a row, IN! was chosen by EnerCom as the recipient of the funds raised at the tournament. Thank you, EnerCom, for your generous and continued support of our Initiative. It was a wonderful day out on the course!

IN!'s Sponsors