What is the structure of our organization? 

The IHECP is a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Colorado, educating students, parents, K-12 schools, universities, community members, and employers about what our students can do rather than what they cannot do given an intellectual or developmental difference. We are raising expectations for, and awareness of, our students’ participation as purposeful, contributing citizens in our communities, so they may live life to its greatest potential.

How do we operate? 

The Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program is governed by a volunteer board of directors which provides organizational structure and fiscal oversight to our inclusive college movement. Our board of directors is highly qualified, because we believe it’s important for students to be served by the most experienced, informed, and purposeful people possible. We are a diverse combination of passionate individuals with the expertise, capability, and resolve to oversee and deliver inclusive higher education programming for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our organization is made up of an executive director (who is responsible for the design, implementation, and management of the program), the board of directors (who are responsible for oversight in determining and approving what is implemented, spent, and incorporated into the program), and an advisory council (which is responsible for providing input and advice for the program). In addition, our organization participates in community awareness and partnership building with local school districts, business and industry leaders, and community service agencies.

Kurt R. Linberg, PhD.

As an independent consultant, Dr. Linberg helps colleges and universities implement innovative models that improve access, reduce costs, and improve learning outcomes.  Dr. Linberg has been involved with innovations in higher education since 1999 as a teacher, mentor, and administrator. Dr. Linberg holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, an M.S. in Software Engineering, and the PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Prior to his time in academe, Dr. Linberg spent nearly two decades developing and managing life-critical software applications with Medtronic, Honeywell, and Alliant Techsystems. He is also the inventor or co-inventor of ten patents involving implementations of IT in healthcare including the Medtronic CareLink System.

  • Served as Vice President of Curriculum Development at Western Governors University
  • Senior Vice President/Provost at American Sentinel University overseeing healthcare learning innovations
  • Dean of Business and Technology at the College of St. Scholastica were he provided academic leadership to traditional campus, five extended sites, and online programs
  • Founding Dean at Capella University, where he helped create business and technology programs across bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from 1999 to 2009. At Capella, Dr. Linberg oversaw 200 professors, 5000 students, and nearly 200 courses

Cathleen Allen, MA Ed., Executive Director

As Executive Director of the IHECP, Cathi is responsible for the design, implementation, and management of the program. Through collaboration with adult agencies, community partners, service providers, schools and families, Cathi coordinates timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and person-centered programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

She first fell in love with students and adults with special needs while in high school when she volunteered at the Ruth M. Wood School in Boulder. After more than 16 years managing the daily functions of a retail furniture store, Cathi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science Summa cum laude, Psychology Emphasis, and Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Generalist teaching licensure from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. Her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision, Principal Licensure Program, is from the University of Phoenix.

Before launching the IHECP, Cathi served as the Highlands Ranch Bridge Program significant support needs transition teacher during the last seven years of her 15-year tenure with the Douglas County School District. An accomplished professional with proven success building cohesive teams, Cathi spent the last 18 years cultivating community awareness and natural supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Rising Star Award, Douglas County School District, “In recognition for outstanding innovation and creativity to support our students.” – January 2014
  • Douglas County Commissioners’ Developmental Disabilities Mill Levy Grant Committee –2010 – 2014
  • Presenter

–  Council for Exceptional Children, Courage to Risk Annual Conference, “Using MOOCs to Prepare Students for College Success,” Colorado Springs, Colorado – January 2017

–  Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, 16th Annual Conference on Cognitive Disabilities and Technology, “Using MOOCS to build independent learning, self-monitoring, and digital skills among postsecondary students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Broomfield, Colorado – October 2016

–  Colorado Department of Education Transition Leadership Conference, “Creating inclusive post-secondary opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Pueblo, Colorado – June 2016

–  Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Spring 2016 Education Series, “Creating inclusive post-secondary opportunities for students with Down syndrome,” Denver, ColoradoMay 2016

–  “Health Care Transitions for Students in Douglas County,”Douglas County School District, Registered Nurses – January 2013, November 2013

–  “Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care Systems,”Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs Study Group – November 2012

–  “Using Adaptive Behavior Assessments to Guide Transition Programming for Students with Severe Needs,”Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Career Development and Transition, Regional Conference, Denver, Colorado – October 2012

Jill Malone, Treasurer 

Jill’s youngest son Thomas has Down Syndrome and is currently, and quite happily, enrolled as both a Metropolitan State University of Denver and a College Prep student in IHECP. She is passionate about giving her son, and other adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the same college, social, and work experiences as their peers. She believes college will help those with IDD continue to learn and grow which will allow them to actively contribute to society.

Jill lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado where she operates Jill Malone Accounting Services. She and her husband, Scott, have four adult children and three grandchildren. She enjoys hiking, golfing, downhill and cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. She’s an active member of South Suburban Christian Church in Littleton. She loves Montana, where she grew up, and is often found spending time with family and friends enjoying the outdoors.

  • University of Montana, Bachelor of Science in Business
  • She has 25 years of oil and gas accounting experience in public accounting, corporate accounting, and consulting in Texas and Colorado: including her last 11 years as Manager of Financial Reporting and consultant for the Forest Oil Corporation.

Kimmie Dunlay, Hospitality Industry Liaison

Kimmie is committed to creating work opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the hospitality industry through competitive, integrated employment. She sees synergy between the industry’s need for well-trained, efficient workers and our more educated and competent IDD work-force.

She is a southern girl from the great state of Texas. After high school, she headed straight to Austin, Texas where she was introduced to the hospitality industry. Kimmie worked in restaurant operations starting as a server and studied the industry as a General Manager, Regional Manager, Director of Operations, and concept restaurant owner (3 units). After fifteen years in restaurant operations, Kimmie joined the manufacturing side of the food service industry. Since, she has dabbled in design, worked for a rep agency (which she later acquired), and created CWE (Chicks With Equipment). Hospitality Group. Kimmie loves spending time with her husband Ryan, and their daughters: Cori and KK. You can usually find her on the golf course or skiing in the mountains.

  • Serves as National Sales Executive for Restaurant Technology, Inc. (RTI)
  • Board Member of the ACF Colorado Chefs Association
  • Advisory Committee Member – Career and Technical Education – Thunder Ridge High School.
  • Awarded 2015 ACF President’s Growing the Culinary Community Award
  • 2015 RTI President’s Club
  • 2015 RTI Elite Team Member