The U.S. Department of Education has approved Northern Kentucky University (NKU) as the latest postsecondary institution in Kentucky to offer a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) for students with intellectual disabilities. Northern Kentucky University joins Murray State University, Bluegrass Community Technical College, and Spalding University in offering CTP.
The University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute (HDI), through the Supported Higher Education Project (SHEP), partners with NKU and five other institutions to support students with intellectual disabilities as they enroll in courses and fully participate in the opportunities offered by a college experience. Additionally, SHEP provides professional development and technical assistance for faculty and staff.
“With the approval of NKU’s Comprehensive Transition Program, Kentucky now has four CTPs and two other partner institutions that offer a broad range of choices for students that meet their individual interests” said Barry Whaley, SHEP director at UK.
The approval of NKU’s CTP allows SHEP students to apply for federal financial aid and receive Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship funds. For this program, students with intellectual disabilities are defined as those who have cognitive disabilities and benefited from a free and appropriate secondary education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Northern Kentucky University began admitting students with intellectual disabilities in the fall of 2007. “We are thrilled to be able to offer the possibility of accessing state and federal resources through financial aid to eligible students. It has been a long time coming, but little by little we are breaking down the barriers to building inclusive campus communities” remarked Dr. Melissa Jones, NKU faculty member and project coordinator.
Contributed by Barry Whaley