State Alliances

State alliances help build community and momentum among inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs. Alliances connect state agencies and state-level constituents, create a learning community, offer more accessible professional development opportunities, and provide shared funding opportunities.

IPSE programs can work together on joint research and evaluation projects and pool resources and strategies. They can also share the responsibility for educating students, families, and educators about inclusive higher education. Alliances can help break down silos and get everyone involved on the same page when it comes to supporting college students with intellectual disability (ID). Through working together, a collective voice arises and makes change happen.

News & Features

In order to really affect change in inclusive postsecondary education, it's important to understand what's going on at the local, state, and national levels. Fortunately, we've got that information for you right here.  ...Read more
There are many things that state government can do to promote inclusive college programs and help existing programs grow and mature. But what about state governments? Where do they come into the picture? How can we influence them? Are there things that my state government can do? The answer is Yes! ...Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a state alliance?

State alliances consist of partners in the inclusive higher education landscape within a state. At a minimum, an alliance can be a group of representatives from IPSE programs. They can also include representatives from key state agencies (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, developmental disability, department of education), organizations, parents, alumni, and students.

Why form a state alliance? What are the benefits?

There can be many rewards from the work of state alliances, including state funding in the form of program support and/or student scholarships, or policy support for IPSE programs by vocational rehabilitation. State alliances also lead to more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and an infrastructure to support the development of new IPSE programs.

Who should you include in your state alliance?

  • University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs)
  • Developmental Disability Councils/Governor’s Councils: These bring together a variety of groups, organizations, and agencies to address the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) and their families. They can also lobby the legislature.
  • Protection and Advocacy Organizations
  • State departments of education
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • State developmental disability agencies
  • State Assistive Technology Act programs
  • Parent organizations, such as Parent Information and Training Centers
  • Alumni from IPSE programs
  • Representatives from institutions of higher education/colleges and universities, both those with IPSE programs and those who are interested in starting a program

What steps have led to successful alliances?

  • Choose a coordinator/backbone organization
  • Invite others to join and identify some leaders (the leadership team)
  • Create a common vision for your state or region
  • Host quarterly or semi-annual meetings of the leadership team
  • Provide technical assistance to others
  • Host a statewide meeting with all constituents
  • Use an email mailing list or project management software to communicate and consider a method for regular, collaborative work (e.g., Teamwork, Microsoft Teams, Slack, MailChimp, Constant Contact)
  • Create a social media presence
  • Create a website

How can you get more assistance about developing or expanding a state alliance?

Contact Susanna Miller-Raines, Regional and State Alliance Manager for training and technical assistance.

Do you have any other questions?