[Project: Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network] State alliances consist of a group of people and/or organizations in a particular state who work together to support college opportunities for students with intellectual disability. At a minimum, an alliance is a group of representatives from college programs. Additional alliance members can include representatives from key state agencies, organizations, parents, alumni, and students.
The main goal of state alliances is to improve access to inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) through state-level systems change and awareness. Many benefits have resulted from creating a space to focus on state-specific policies that impact IPSE. Some examples are obtaining state funding for program support and/or student scholarships, pursuing f shared grant opportunities, providing a process to address state-level policy that impacts the growth and success of IPSE options in the state, and connecting state agencies and state-level constituents. Another benefit to state alliances is providing more detailed and state-specific information on college options to prospective students and families. Examples of this are overviews of all options in the state, knowledge of support models and philosophies that might suit students’ specific needs, scholarship information, vocational rehabilitation funding, and Medicaid support if available.
Think College has a history of supporting the development of state alliances and the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network grant now allows us to do more targeted support and development of state alliances.
There are currently 26 states with established alliances and 11 states in some stage of planning an alliance in the country. You can see the states with alliances on the map below, and you can also visit What’s Happening in Your State to find contact information for someone in each state that is knowledgeable about inclusive postsecondary education options in that state.
Map of the United States.
In green are the states with an established state alliance (VT, MA, CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, OH, KY, NC, TN, SC, GA, AL, FL, LA, AR, MO, MN, ND, OK, TX, CO, UT, CA, HI)
In blue are the states forming a state alliance (WA, OR, ID, NV, AZ, WI, MI, IL, IN, MS, VA)
In gray, states that have not yet established a state alliance (ME, NH, DE, DC, IA, SD, NE, KS, MT, WY, NM, AK)