Mission

IHECP is a Colorado 501(c)3 NonProfit Organization. 

What is our mission?

The mission of the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program (IHECP) is to create and administer inclusive higher education programming which leads to meaningful employment, for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through university, business, and community agency partnerships.

What do we believe?

We believe that higher education is a vehicle for self-empowerment and access to independence, relationships/social connections, and employment. We believe in a person-centered approach, in which students are raising expectations for themselves, and they are setting the standard which raises the expectations of others.

According to the Colorado Department of Education 2014 report, “Education Facts and Figures,” there were 889,006 K-12 students enrolled in Colorado. 92,241 students are categorized as “Special Education.” Of those students, it is estimated that approximately 6,530 students could benefit from Inclusive College in Colorado.  As Meg Grigal, et al, point out, in order for students to become full contributing members of our society, we must give them the tools to direct themselves to get what they want and need to be successful in life[1]. We believe it’s our job to provide the opportunity and the tools to do just that.

How does our programming align with our mission and beliefs?

Every young person wants a chance to live life to the fullest of his or her abilities. Until recently, Colorado students who have an intellectual or development disability (IDD) lacked that opportunity. Most faced one of three futures after high school: retreating into a life with an aging family member as caregiver; depending on taxpayer-supported daycare facilities; or low-skill, low-wage, low-advancement supported employment. But now there is another option which allows students to transform their lives: Inclusive Higher Education.

We are providing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities options for their future. The Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program provides inclusive college experiences for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities where, just like other students, they attend classes, interact with faculty, and explore all that college life offers. As students are pursuing their academic interests, they are also learning independence, developing their social skills, and expanding their career options while increasing earning potential.

Our program offers two pathways to post-secondary education: College Preparation and the Inclusive Certificate Program.

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[1] Grigal, M., Neubert, D. A., & Moon, M. S. (2002). Postsecondary options for students with significant disabilities.
Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(2), 68-73.