The University of Central Florida and three university partners have been award a $2.5 million, five-year federal grant to assist students with intellectual disabilities successfully transition into higher education.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded funding from the Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education program to the Florida Consortium on Inclusive Higher Education, a partnership headed by UCF that includes the University of South Florida, Florida International University and Florida State College of Jacksonville. The consortium will create and expand high-quality transition and postsecondary programs for students.

Additionally, the consortium will:

  • Collaborate with all Florida postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities and other key stakeholders to align curriculum and credentialing among the institutions; and
  • Develop a base of meaningful research in this area and disseminate the research through peer-reviewed articles, conference presentations, and training.
  • “We are honored that our partner institutions in Florida and the U.S. Department of Education have expressed their confidence in UCF to lead this extremely important project,” said Maribeth Ehasz, UCF’s vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services. “The focus of our program is on outreach, professional development, and evaluation about students with intellectual disabilities and improving their academic success.”

    To achieve these goals, UCF will partner with the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and its Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services. 

    The consortium will also collaborate with other partners to design and deliver professional development, an annual symposium, and strategic program evaluation, and to ensure reporting to and collaboration with the national transition coordinating center.

    “UCF strives to be a leader in creating the most inclusive college experiences for students with intellectual disabilities,” said Adam Meyer, UCF’s acting director of Inclusive Education Services and director of Student Accessibility Services. “The TPSID grant is a great opportunity for UCF and our partner schools to make a significant impact in the state with respect to how these programs operate.”

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