It’s a new year and we are EXCITED!

group of students with text 10 Things We're Excited for in 2021: Happy New Year

The Think College National Coordinating Center has a lot of big plans for 2021! In an effort to speed along the last 10 days of 2020, we did a countdown on social media of some of the things we are most looking forward to in 2021. In case you took a tech break or enjoyed some well-deserved time off, or just missed it altogether, we are doing a recap here...

10. We are excited to support the development of comprehensive transition and postsecondary (CTP) programs. CTP programs were introduced in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which defined the key requirements of the programs and opened up access to federal financial aid for students with ID. Find out much more about CTP programs here.

9. We are excited to begin development of a program accreditation process. In Fall 2020, after years of hard work, Model Program Accreditation Atandards were published. These standards are the first of their kind and will guide future practices and advance the quality and accountability of college programs for students with ID.

8. We are excited to build our network of families, educators, and community partners to spread the word about #InclusiveHigherEd. Through very active Facebook pages, as well as Twitter and our mailing list, we will continue to build community and educate and inform others about inclusive higher education. We may even explore some new ways to do this! If you're not already on our mailing list, sign up here

7. We are excited to begin gathering data on the experiences and outcomes of students at the newly funded TPSIDs. Brand new data collection tools have been developed and TPSID staff are being trained on how to use them. Our research team will work closely with the data to identify trends and areas of opportunity for future work.

6. We are excited to offer new webinars and opportunities to engage with others, network, and learn practical tips that you can use. The new TA coordinator and the dissemination manager will work together to identify critical topics for webinars and consider new ways to allow for networking between participants. Check the events listing on our website to see what’s coming.

5. We are excited to create new resources for students, families, and transition professionals to better understand and access inclusive higher education. With over a decade of quantitative and qualitative data and large audience to reach, we will continue to add to our resource library. Bookmark the page for easy access to new resources!

4. We are excited to make new connections with organizations that represent education, advocacy, disabilities, employment, and more. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who are not familiar with postsecondary opportunities for students with ID. This year we plan to reach out to new groups in an attempt to raise awareness about the postsecondary options that exist for students with ID.

3. We are excited to hire a new Technical Assistance coordinator to support new and existing inclusive college programs. We respond to hundreds of requests for technical assistance each year, so this new coordinator will be a true asset to the team. To contact any of our technical assistance providers, click here.

2. We are excited to launch the new Think College blog, Inside Think College. Stay tuned!

And one the things we are most looking forward to is: We are excited to begin working closely with the newly funded TPSIDs, or Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability. In October 2020, 22 grantees in 16 states were awarded TPSID grants. Find out more about the new grantees here.