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Postsecondary programs make college dreams come true

June 24th, 2009

Melissa Gurman, Washington Times photoFrom the Washington Times:

Twenty-three-year-old Melissa Gurman (left) says she “accomplished her college dream” when she graduated in May from George Mason University’s Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) program, a postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities.

Students in the LIFE program learn independent living skills and take courses for basic literacy, math, and other subjects. The program costs $16,000 per year, not including room and board. The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act will soon help students with intellectual disabilities offset the costs of postsecondary education with federal loans or scholarships.

Debra Hart of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts-Boston says some 200 similar programs have sprung up across the nation, most within the past 10 years. She says research suggests that students like Gurman who receive some form of postsecondary education are more likely to find a job and earn higher pay than peers who don’t.

(Washington Times photo)

One Response to “Postsecondary programs make college dreams come true”

  1. Emily Says:

    I think this is great! I recently wrote an editorial concerning post-secondary education for intellectually disabled students. I think that this form of inclusion, (called “mainstreaming”) helps society recognize the academic potential of students with intellectual disabilities and see the value in these kinds of programs. Even if these students don’t receive any kind of academic agree, what’s more important is that they continue to partake in lifelong learning.

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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