Q: Why College?

A: People go to college for lots of reasons. Some people want to get a job that requires a college education. Other people go to college because they’re not sure what to do next and figure taking classes might help them sort out what to do with their lives. There are some people who go to college because everyone else they know is going and still others go initially to meet new people. Finally, some people go to college because they know that putting that experience on their resume will look good. And they’re right. In fact, any of these reasons is a good reason to try college. A college experience is good for anyone who wants to learn, meet people, and prepare for a job and make money.

ThinkCollege http://www.thinkcollege.net/for-students/why-go

Institute for Community Inclusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx9i7Hn8zlI


Q: When is the best time to think about life after high school?

A: We encourage students, parents and families to consider all of the possible options, regardless of ability or disability, including a post-secondary education option for anyone who desires higher education after high school. This could be a college/university experience, a technical school or auditing classes. Planning can begin as early as 5th or 6th grade!

Q: What is the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program and who is eligible for admission?

A:The IHECP has launched the first program of its kind in Colorado. The Inclusive Education Certificate Program (IECP) at MSU Denver is providing a fully inclusive college experience for students with different intellectual or developmental abilities who do not meet the university requirements for admission as degree-seeking students.

  • IECP participants enroll in MSU Denver courses as non-degree seeking students
  • IECP students receive individualized accommodations and modifications to their inclusive coursework
  • IECP students participate in social activities and events, career exploration, vocational apprenticeships and internships, and expanded independence skills training
  • IECP culminates in an Inclusive Education Certificate in the student’s field of study
  • IECP is a two-year nonresidential program

The goal of the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program is to broaden the career options and opportunities for our students with intellectual disabilities in inclusive, age-appropriate settings.

Q: What is the difference between the “College Prep” and “Inclusive Education Certificate Program”?

A: IECP: The Inclusive Education Certificate Program (IECP), supports students taking MSU Denver coursework as non-degree, non-credit seeking students. Students in the IECP take up to three classes per semester and follow a prescribed course of study in their field of interest in order to earn a certificate. The IHECP staff collaborates with the university, businesses, and adult service agencies to build a course of study, through academics and internships, culminating in a two-year certificate recognized by potential employers. The IHECP has two certificates in process, Hospitality and Early Childhood Education, and we look forward to adding more as student interest indicates.
The Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program is a 2-year nonresidential certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providing individualized Programs of Study in the areas of education, social skills, and vocational training.  Students enroll in traditional college classes with their typical peers. Coursework is modified by the IHECP staff.

College Preparation: In preparation for participation in the IECP, the College Preparation program is prerequisite.  These semester-long classes are designed to allow students to continue the learning process after high school or transition, as well as exploring areas of interest that could lead to Inclusive College coursework and/or meaningful employment.

College Preparation, also known as “Boot Camp”, supports students as they transition from K-12 programming to independent learning. Our students learn how to navigate the campus safely and independently, participate in college-level coursework, self-advocate for accommodations and modifications to coursework, use public transportation, study independently and use software to support their independent learning. College Preparation classes meet two-days a week for six hours a day to give students an authentic, college-level academic, social, and independent experience with IHECP support. Unless a student can document successful completion of college-level coursework on a community college or university campus, students looking to participate in inclusive coursework through MSU Denver must complete one semester of College Preparation successfully.


Q: Is IECP a two year or four-year program?

A: At this time, the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program is a two year, on campus education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Q: What are the admissions criteria?

A:  In order to be considered for IECP or College Prep, a potential student must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a documented intellectual or developmental disability that interferes with academic performance.
  • Complete and submit IECP application, including an interview with IECP Admissions Committee and three references.
  • Demonstrate the desire and motivation to pursue educational, employment and life experiences through postsecondary education.
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn independently in classroom and work settings as determined by the IECP Reference Forms and Admissions interview.
  • Be able to participate in 90-minute college classes with accommodations and function independently for a 2-hour time period in multiple environments.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to complete all modified assignments with support.
  • Be able to negotiate a college campus independently.
  • Be able to adjust to and handle change.
  • Exhibit no behaviors or emotional issues that would impact school performance, safety, or positive classroom environment or that violate a partner institution of higher education’s Student Code of Conduct.
  • Agree to actively participate in assessments, including academic, adaptive, employment, and independence.
  • Be able to be successful in competitive employment situations with minimal support.
  • Be willing to begin the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation process.
  • Agree to have story, progress and outcomes shared with the general community. (Identifying information, including name and picture, will be disclosed only with prior )
Q: What is the admission process?

A: Interested IECP and College Prep applicants must apply for admission.

Application packets are can be obtained by contacting IHECP. Please email or call our office to schedule an appointment.

Once the completed application packet has been received and reviewed, selected candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.  The IHECP Steering Committee reviews application materials and determines who is accepted into the program based on materials and information submitted, and the student interview.

Q: Are college entrance exams (Accuplacer, SAT, ACT) required to apply?

A:  No. The IHECP is for students who cannot pass a college entrance exam due to an intellectual or developmental disability. Students who wish to attend college with IHECP support must complete the application packet and follow the application process.

Q: Is the IHECP accredited?

A:  It is the goal of the IHECP to have all partner institutions of higher education complete the CTP “Certified Transition Program” process and be approved. CTP status allows students who qualify to apply for and receive Pell Grants and federal financial aid. “The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), includes provisions related to the eligibility of students with intellectual disabilities to participate in the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) programs.”

Q: How many students are accepted into each program?

A:  Ten (10) students are accepted into the “College Prep” program and ten (10) students are accepted into the “Inclusive Education Certificate Program” each year.

Q: How much does each program cost?

A: Please contact us directly for more information about programming costs. Info@IHECP.com

Q: How do parents and families pay for the program?

A:  At this time, IHECP students are able to pay through private pay or scholarships.

“One of the greatest challenges for college attendance is how to pay for it, and this can be particularly true for students with intellectual disabilities. Here we provide a number of options that students with intellectual disabilities are using to pay for college.  Most students are using a combination of the resources listed here.” ~ThinkCollege.net

Q: Is financial assistance available?

A:  Scholarship funds are available through the Scholarship Real Estate – IHECP Foundation. Scholarships are also available for students with Down Syndrome through Ruby’s Rainbow.  https://rubysrainbow.org/ and the O’Neill -Tabani Enrichment Fund:  otef@ndss.org.

Additional funding options: http://www.thinkcollege.net/administrator/components/com_resdb/files/financing%20higher%20ed_F.pdf

Q: Is the IHECP a certificate program?

A: Yes.  Students who complete the program requirements will receive a certificate in the area of their individualized course of study.


Q: How does a student determine his course of study?

A:  We work the student and his/her family, utilizing the person centered planning process, to assist the student in determining his area of interest and course of study.


Q: Is this a residential or commuter program?

A: The IECP at Metro State is designed as a commuter program.  Students generally live at home and commute to campus.



Q: Do the IHECP students follow a 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday schedule?

A:  No. Each IHECP student has an individualized college schedule. This is a true college experience. Depending on the student’s course schedule, internship, and social events calendar, each day may look completely different.



Q: Who will be teaching the coursework?

A:  Metro State University courses are taught by MSU Denver professors and faculty. IECP courses are taught by IHECP certified teachers with a Master’s degree.



Q:How much assistance and support will my student receive?

A:  The IHECP and College Prep courses encourage independence. Students are supported appropriately by staff, student mentors and tutors. Students are encouraged to take more responsibility as they gain increased confidence and independence.



Q: What is a Mentor?

A:  Individuals from the Metro State student body are selected to serve as peer mentors. Mentors assist students both academically and socially with support to become fully integrated into the college community. The IHECP provides paid academic mentors as well as volunteer social and activities mentors.



Q: Are tutors available to students?

A:  Yes. IECP students have access to peer tutors through the tutoring center. Tutoring times will be scheduled with the assistance of the IECP facilitators. IECP students access on-campus tutoring, writing centers, computer labs and career services with support from staff as well as participate in individualized study sessions with staff and peers.




Q: Are internships available?

A:  Yes. Internships are a required component of the IHECP. The internships allow for valuable work experience. Internships are chosen based upon student interests and course of study.



Q: How can families get involved in supporting their son or daughter's educational goals?

A:  Newsletters are sent via email informing parents about course work and assignments each week. Parents and family members can play an important role in reinforcing at home what is being learned in the program.



Q: Is there an IHECP parent organization?

A:  Yes. This is a time of great change and transition for families as well as their students. Our parents schedule regular “get togethers” to share information, network and socialize.




Q: Do I have to give up my transition program to attend College Prep?

A: No. Students and families often find it beneficial to enroll in “College Prep” courses concurrently with their school district’s transition program.




Q: Can Social Security, SSI, Medicaid waivers be used to pay for inclusive college?

A:  Currently, government funds do not pay directly for inclusive post-secondary education in Colorado. Medicaid Waiver:  Overall, Medicaid funds cannot be used for tuition and fees but it may be possible to use Medicaid Waiver funds to pay for student support services such as mentors, physical or occupational therapy, transportation and supported employment. Check with your community centered board case manager. Also, qualifying students can create a PASS Fund.

The Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) program allows Social Security beneficiaries to exclude income that is being used to assist the person in returning to work. Under a PASS, income is set aside for current or future expenses of training, equipment, services, or supports – including college – as long as it is related to a specified employment goal.

A PASS is an SSI work incentive that lets you use your own income or assets to help you reach your work goals. For example, you could set aside money to go to school to get specialized training for a job or to start a business. A plan is meant to help you get items, services, or skills you need to reach your goals.”

Link to more information on PASS: www.passplan.org





Q: Are students allowed to join sports teams and clubs?

A:  Yes. IHECP students who have been accepted as institution of higher education students have full access to campus amenities, services, activities, clubs, social groups, fraternities, sororities, etc.



Q: Will there be support for participating in clubs and activities after school hours, including team sports, games or concerts?

A:  Yes. Social and Activities Mentors can be available to support students in after school activities.