Program Models

The national Think College initiative has identified three types of inclusive program models (by order of prevalence): Mixed/hybrid model; substantially separate model; and the inclusive individual support model. While no program model has all of the answers to every challenge, what they have in common is that they are all seeking to include students with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in postsecondary education (PSE) environments. However, it is important to remember that substantially separte models will not qualify for federal funding.

Mixed/hybrid model
Students participate in social activities and/or academic classes with students without disabilities (for audit or credit) and also participate in classes with other students with disabilities (sometimes referred to as "life skills" or "transition" classes). This model typically provides students with employment experience on- or off-campus.
Substantially separate model
Students participate only in classes with other students with disabilities (sometimes referred to as a "life skills" or "transition" program). Students may have the opportunity to participate in generic social activities on campus and may be offered employment experience, often through a rotation of pre-established employment slots on- or off-campus.
Inclusive individual support model
Students receive individualized services (e.g., educational coach, tutor, technology, natural supports) in college courses, certificate programs, and/or degree programs, for audit or credit. The individual student's vision and career goals drive services, often guided by the processes of Person Centered Planning (PCP). There is no program base on campus. The focus is on establishing a student-identified career goal that directs the course of study and employment experiences (e.g., internships, apprenticeships, work-based learning). Built on a collaborative approach via an interagency team (adult service agencies, generic community services, and the college's disability support office), agencies identify a flexible range of services and share costs.

Chubby young white woman with developmental disability at college

I'm hoping that by getting my high school diploma and taking college classes that I will decide on my career choice or major."-Beth