At IHECP, we’re dedicated to raising expectations of what students with disabilities can accomplish. Not just in a higher education setting, but as members of our community. Our team has extensively researched other established and successful programs across the U.S. and Canada to create a hybrid program that has become the first truly inclusive college program in the state of Colorado.
We strive to give students the opportunities they need to achieve their personal and professional goals, and we’re proud of the inclusive services we’ve provided to students in Colorado over the past five years. Through IHECP, and other programs in the state, students with learning, intellectual, and developmental disabilities have access to higher education in the form of certificates in their individualized area of study. This inclusive environment also allows these students to seek meaningful employment through internships and apprenticeships, and gain life-long independence. That’s definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating!
Just a Few of Our Numbers
In partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver School of Education, we successfully launched the IHECP pilot program in the fall of 2015. Since launching, we have provided inclusive college services for:
- Inclusive Support Students taking modified university courses on an audit basis
- Degree-seeking and credit-earning Academic Coaching students
- Online distance learners
- College Preparation students
- Denver Public Schools transition students
- KIPP Charter School students
- Community College of Denver students
- 59 total students during the spring 2019 semester
But believe it or not, those numbers aren’t our biggest accomplishments! As IHECP celebrates the fifth anniversary of our partnership with MSU Denver School of Education, we wanted to take a look at five of our biggest accomplishments in the past five years.
1 - Fostering Student Growth & Independence
The biggest accomplishment we’ve had at IHECP is the exponential growth students experience through our inclusive services. Students have demonstrated this growth not just in their academics, but in their independence, confidence, and self-advocacy. A vital part of this independence is encouraging our students to use public transportation to and from campus, as well as guiding them as they independently access tools and resources they need to succeed. By instilling this independence in our students, IHECP has helped give students a solid foundation for future growth and success outside of college. Parents and professors over the past five years have documented how their student has grown through participation in our inclusive services.
2 - Expanding Scholarships and Donations
One of the greatest questions for any college student is “How will I pay for it?” This is especially true for students with disabilities. We work hard each year to provide students and families with a number of options for college funding. Over the past five years, IHECP has awarded over $55,000 in scholarships so students could enroll and participate in our services. We could not have accomplished this without the support of our donors. Donations to IHECP go toward scholarships for students, as well as providing the instructors, peer mentors, curriculum, and adaptive technology that help our students thrive.
3 - Improving Retention Rates
At IHECP, our focus is always on providing a continuum of support for our students, whether they need college prep coursework or inclusive support services. In this way, we are able to meet our students where they are, rather than assign them to a strict path that doesn’t allow for their strengths to shine. By creating and adopting this continuum approach, we’ve been able to retain more students each semester. This is a true testament to the services we provide, and a big accomplishment for our team was our 100% retention rate from Fall 2016 through Spring 2017 for our College Prep, Inclusive Support Services, Academic Coaching, and Denver Public Schools transition program students.
4 - State & National Recognition
Students with disabilities in Colorado can earn certificates conferred by a nationally recognized program through inclusive college services at IHECP. We’re proud to have the opportunity to offer these services to students and contribute to the growing number of inclusive services being implemented throughout the nation. Over the course of five years, our team has established IHECP as a leader of the inclusive movement in Colorado. In 2016, IHECP was named one of Colorado Impact Day’s “Top 60 Social Impact Ventures.” Our team is dedicated to continuing this tradition of excellence and updating our services to reach more students with disabilities — not just in Colorado, but throughout the nation as well.
5 - Providing Comprehensive Resources
IHECP has remained committed to providing students with resources on inclusive learning, and we have grown our services over the past five years to include access support for campus services, such as tutoring, writing, career advisement, and more. Our main goal is to provide students with the skills they need to thrive in a college environment. For high school students, we also are committed to providing information on inclusive college services throughout the state so they can make a decision on post-secondary education that fits their needs. This dedication to providing open access to resources is our way of ensuring that all students have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their education.
Looking to the Future
Moving forward into the 2019-2020 school year, IHECP is as committed as ever to our mission of serving students across Colorado by focusing on sharing resources and supporting our community. Our accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our donors, as well as the families and students we have the honor of serving each year. IHECP is looking forward to many more successful years of serving students with disabilities through our inclusive college services.