Think College: Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

By Ingram, Christina | Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Think College: Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities


Ingram, Christina, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling


Grigal, M., & Hart, D. (2009). Think college: Postsecondary education options for students with intelfectual disabilities. Baltimore, MP: Paul H. Brookes

In a highly creative, reader friendly presentation, authors Meg Grigal and Debra Hart address the growing need for high school and secondary school professionals to obtain the knowledge and resources for meeting the needs of students with intellectual disabilities as they pursue postsecondary education. This resource is designed for educational institutions and professionals assisting students with intellectual disabilities and their families in the pursuit of a wide variety of postsecondary learning opportunities. The authors propose that the importance of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities lies in the expectation that they can learn post high school, should they choose to participate in further learning. The authors' view of postsecondary education encompasses a wide variety of learning activities. These include credit and non-credit courses at community colleges and 4-year institutions, courses in vocational colleges, and trainings and workshops in community-based settings.

In addition to helping educational professionals understand how to assist students with intellectual disabilities in gaining access to postsecondary education of their choice, the authors address common challenges and barriers students with intellectual disabilities often experience. These barriers include low expectations of secondary and postsecondary professionals, families, and the students themselves, as well as a lack of financial resources and funding. Lastly, the topic of postsecondary education's applicability to employment is discussed. The authors' stance is that all types of learning opportunities are desirable and that students with intellectual disabilities should pay attention to their interests and desires when deciding to pursue classes or gain additional skills.

Meg Grigal, Debra Hart, and Maria Peiwonsky devote a chapter to addressing the importance of legislation, advocacy, and systemic change in postsecondary opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. In this same manner, chapter authors Maria Paiewonsky and Jerri Roach Ostergard discuss the postsecondary educational opportunities local school systems can provide for student with intellectual disabilities. Steps for planning postsecondary education services and establishing collaborative partners outline methods for achieving common visions of postsecondary education transitional services. In addition, the authors address how transitional services in postsecondary education environments can identify the location of services, determine how services will be structured, and address the integration of related services. Local school systems can use recommendations provided for implementing transitional services into postsecondary education settings.

In another chapter, Laura Eisenman and Karen Mancini highlight differing college perspectives and issues related to challenges and supports in postsecondary education systems. The chapter addresses critical information necessary to aid individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families in the legal transition from secondary to postsecondary education. …

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