ATLANTA- Columbus State University (CSU) and East Georgia State College (EGSC) are proud to announce the inaugural classes of their inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs. The Guidance and Opportunities for Academic and Leadership Success (GOALS) Program at CSU and the Creating Higher Education Opportunities to Increase College Experience (CHOICE) at EGSC are the newest IPSE programs in the state of Georgia; joining the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth at Kennesaw State University. They also join over 232 inclusive postsecondary programs for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the US.
In 2014, both programs received implementation grants from the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium at the Center for Leadership in Disability and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. These funds were used to organize and plan IPSE programs for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Both programs designed curriculum, leveraged additional funding, and addressed administrative needs to ensure sustainability and success.
It has been an exciting time for students, instructors, and program leaders as they take this vital next step in improving young adult lives. CSU GOALS student Christie Odom says, “I feel that this is great opportunity to show society that people with disabilities can have full and enriching lives.” EGSC President Dr. Bob Boehmer states, “We are extremely proud to have Sharaun Bright, Kasey Hayes, and Tiffany Guthrie as students at EGSC in the CHOICE inclusion program. They have added a new learning opportunity to our college community. We look forward to the continued growth in the program under the leadership of Theresa Davis.”
In addition to these programs, Georgia Tech is slated to open the doors to their Inclusive Postsecondary Academy in the Fall of 2015. And, plans are underway at the University of Georgia to launch a program in 2016 as a collaborative effort of the J.W. Fanning Institute, the Institute on Human Development and Disability, and the Student Government Association.
The Georgia Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Consortium is housed at the Center for Leadership in Disability. The consortium seeks to create opportunities for students who have historically not had access to college. Members of the consortium are committed to provide information and training resources for individuals, families, colleges, universities, and agencies to achieve the goal of inclusive PSE opportunities for all.
The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) funded by the Administration on Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services across the country. It is housed within the Center for Healthy Development and the School of Public Health at Georgia State. Its mission is to translate research to sustainable community practices that contribute to independent, self-determined, inclusive, and productive lives for people with disabilities and their families.