Creating New Pathways to College for Transitioning Youth

photo of campus quad with students sitting on the grass

Many high school students with intellectual disability (ID), aged 18-22, are accessing college experiences via their transition services. These programs are called by different names, such as dual enrollment or concurrent enrollment, depending on their location. Regardless of the name, one thing they have in common is that they offer students with ID access to transition services in college settings, allowing access to college coursework, campus activities, and employment opportunities.


A recent article by Paul Riede published in the August issue of School Administrator describes how these programs have been developed through collaboration, planning, and the belief that students with ID have the right to go to college. Featured in the article are programs in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, and perspectives from transition professionals, teachers, administrators, and students.


This article offers school system administrators and in particular, school superintendents with information they can use to review their current transition programs for students 18 or older. College-based transition services are an emerging model that support collaboration between school districts, institutes of higher education, and state & local agencies. Think College offers a variety of resources to support dual enrollment and our dual enrollment innovation exchange page includes resources, news, frequently asked questions, and more.


If your school system doesn’t currently offer college experiences to students with ID, consider sharing this article with your school administrators.