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Institute for Community Inclusion’s Think College Receives $10M Grant on Inclusive Higher Education

DeWayne Lehman | Thu Oct 15, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education has awarded Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), University of Massachusetts Boston, a five-year, $10 million cooperative agreement through the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities to serve as the National Coordinating Center for institutions of higher education (IHE) that offer postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

The Coordinating Center will support increased knowledge about the impact and outcomes of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability through collection and analyses of national data on effective and high-quality practices. It will also serve as a national technical assistance entity for IHE faculty and staff, local education agency staff, students, families, and other stakeholders.

“ICI and Think College are examples of the multiple ways in which our university expands and provides access to higher education to all who desire it,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “Congratulations to Principal Investigator Meg Grigal for her continued work in making our university a leader in this field.”

A major outcome of the center will be to establish a process to implement national program accreditation standards to ensure the quality and accountability of college programs for students with intellectual disability.

“We are grateful for the department’s continued investment in expanding and improving higher education options for students with intellectual disability,” said ICI Senior Research Fellow Meg Grigal, principal investigator for the project. “The work of the National Coordinating Center will strengthen the pathways to and through college leading to improved employment, independence, and quality of life for people with intellectual disability.”

The funding allows Think College to build on a decade of experience with this project. Think College began its work as the National Coordinating Center in 2010 with a smaller grant and expanded this work in 2015 when it received a $10 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

Think College will partner with the Association for University Centers on Disability (AUCD) and the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) on this project.

About ICI
The Institute for Community Inclusion promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities through training, consultation, clinical and employment services, and research. ICI is a University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities based at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Children's Hospital Boston.

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s colleges and graduate schools serve more than 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.