The Viscardi Center
Inclusive Higher Education
Improved Opportunities for Meaningful,
Competitive Employment Post-Graduation
Inclusive Higher Education (IHE) enables students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend comprehensive and integrated post-secondary education programs on a college campus. The ultimate goal of IHE programs is to prepare students for a career pathway. While there are hundreds of unique programs in the U.S., Long Island is an IHE desert.
In spring 2023, The Viscardi Center launched Long Island’s first-ever IHE partnership with Nassau Community College. The pilot programs are designed based on the Four Pillars of Inclusive Higher Education: Academic (Learn), Vocational (Work), Socialization (Play) and Independent Living (Live). The pilot programs integrate person-centered planning related to educational and vocational interests and are aligned with a focus on independent living skills and campus involvement. Three days a week are spent on campus engaging in a variety of academic, volunteer, and social activities.
Ultimately, the goal is to establish a recognized, gold-standard Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary (CTP) Program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The program will engage and support students with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) interested in preparing for gainful employment.
Facts/Outcomes at a Glance from
Think College Fast Facts, 2020
- 64% of responding students who completed a federally-funded post-secondary program in 2015-16 through 2017-18 reported having a paid job one year after exit which is significantly higher than the national average of 18% for IDDs.
- 93% of students report that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their social life.
NYS IHE Coalition
- 40% of students exiting USDOE funded programs secured paid employment within 90 days; 90% were placed in integrated/competitive jobs.
- They earned 73% higher income than those who received only vocational services.
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