Every year the Think College National Coordinating Center (NCC) invites the project directors and key staff from TPSID model demonstration sites to network and share ideas, present on key features of postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disability, and to gain new insights from their data. This year was no different, except it was. We held the entire meeting virtually, just like many other conference organizers have been doing.
Using the Whova app and lots of emails, we organized 2 days of live presentations, poster presentations, pre-recorded sessions, roundtable discussions, and keynotes. To keep attendees engaged and connected, we even hosted a Pub Quiz and two photo contests! We were honored to welcome special guest, Madeleine Will, former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and one of the founders of the current movement for postsecondary education for students with ID. Ms. Will participated in a Q&A hosted by Meg Grigal about the development of PSE programs. Stephanie Smith Lee, National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) Senior Policy Advisor and Chair of the Think College NCC Accreditation Committee, spoke about the development of model accreditation standards and what these standards would mean to the future of PSE programs.
It was different, but from what we hear, the 2020 Project Director Meeting was a great success. As a tribute to the 2015-2020 TPSID projects, Clare Papay produced a short graduation video to honor all of their hard work and dedication to improving learning opportunities for students with intellectual disability. Check it out!