Updated on 11/30/2012 11:37:56 AM.
By: Courtney Taylor
The 2012 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities was held Nov. 29-30 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The Conference included presentations and discussions from staff and faculty connected to Next Steps at Vanderbilt. A list of Vanderbilt participants (denoted with an *) and presentation descriptions are included below. The Conference provided an opportunity for colleges and universities, researchers, program staff, parents, and self-advocates to discuss the current state of policies, research, and practice in the field of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Conference strands included Leadership and Sustainability, Promoting Systemic Change, Program Development and Evaluation, Transition to College, Research and Evaluation, Academic, Social and Independent Living, and Employment. Click here to learn more.
There were two presentations, “Let's Talk About Challenging Behaviors” and “Evaluating Postsecondary Education Programs Using the Think College Standards and Quality Indicators.” In the first presentation, presenters explored the question of behavior challenges in students with intellectual disabilities and how those challenges might impact their chances of being accepted into PSE programs. All PSE programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities deal with challenging behaviors from time to time. Learning how to handle conduct problems with students in these programs, within the parameters of a college or university, is a huge learning curve that takes wisdom. This wisdom should join the knowledge from university administrators and those with experience in supporting individuals with such challenges. Participants left the presentation with strategies that are working on the Vanderbilt University campus.
During “Evaluating Postsecondary Education Programs Using the Think College Standards and Quality Indicators,” it was made known that, across the U.S., institutions of higher education (IHEs) are offering diverse educational opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. Representatives from three institutes of higher education described the usefulness of the Think College Standards as a conceptual framework for assessing program quality, not only for prospective students, but also for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.
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