Encourage your child to dream! Your encouragement is the greatest factor determining whether your child will go to college.
So, your loved one is thinking about going to college or you want to know if it is possible for them? This is probably exciting, scary, and confusing - all in one.
This page is dedicated to resources related to preparing your loved one (we will use child for the most part, but we know not all of you are parents) for college. If you would like more information on the options available, please see our College Options section. If you would like a better understanding of inclusive higher education, please see our Educator Page (you are in every way an important educator in your child's life!).
How can I help my child prepare for college?
UCCS's Office of Inclusive Service has developed a Top 10 Tips Sheet related to how to prepare for college while in high school. You can download it here.
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Preparing for college goes beyond academic preparation. It includes skills for socialization, independence, self-advocacy, and more. Click here to download a sheet with more skills related to independence in higher education.
If your child desires to go to college, this should be part of their individualized education plan (IEP). As inclusive higher education is so new, it might be up to you to educate your child's case manager and teachers about the options that are available.
Encouragement goes a long way. Talking to your child about college can make a big impact. It is a sad reality that many people do not talk to our students with intellectual disabilities about going to college.
When it comes to the college search, we encourage you to put your child in the driver’s seat. We have a page designed for prospective students. Consider checking it out in tandem with your prospective student to start the conversation about preparing for college, learning about college, and considering college options. Click here to go to the student page.
Understand the difference between high school and college. A lot changes between high school and college, including your role as a parent. The student is primarily responsible for advocating for their own needs. Learn about some of the other major changes in this document.
Think College as a resource for college preparation
Think College is the National Coordinating Center for Inclusive Higher Education. Over the past 10 years, they have developed many resources for families. Their resources include information on students with intellectual disabilities accessing college (highlighting what is possible), further ideas on how to prepare for college, what is needed, financing college, finding the right school, and the difference between high school and college. Please check out their site: https://thinkcollege.net/family-resources.
- Think College launched a Facebook group for families with students with intellectual disabilities. Description: "“This is a closed group for families with a child with intellectual disability or autism, who is or may be interested in going to college. This group was created to be a forum where family members can feel comfortable asking questions, sharing concerns, and joining in celebrations.”
IN!'s Newsletter: Stay up-to-date on IN!'s advocacy work, learn about current students, and more!
Mobile Apps to Support Transition Age Youth (download): The document provides ideas on how technology can help support your child's preparation to transition to post-high school life. It was developed by the PACER Center.
We often receive questions about paying for college. Please see our funding page. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact our organization or the inclusive staff at each school. A contact list can be downloaded here.
Questions? Feedback? Need someone to talk to? Contact us!
Phone: (720) 629-0196