Kennesaw State University’s Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth’s mission statement is to provide a collaborative learning and inclusive post-secondary experience for individuals with different abilities while promoting excellence in leadership and educational practices through community and interdisciplinary engagement.
A Day in the Life of Academy Student, Darien Todd
The KSU Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth provides a university-based, post-secondary education experience for persons with different intellectual and developmental abilities. The Academy, by design, focuses on independence through an inclusive campus program – encouraging social growth and development through real-life college experiences. The programs are tuition and fee-based with housing options available on and off campus. The Academy is comprised of two certificate programs that work in conjunction. The initial program, which began in 2009, Academic, Social, and Career Enrichment (ASCE) program, is designed to provide a two-year foundational base for enhancement in an inclusive setting. This foundation program has been approved as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). The Advanced Leadership and Career Development Program (ALCD), which began in 2014, is designed to assist students to enhance existing skills in the areas of career development, self-advocacy, leadership and independence, and academic exploration.
Supportive research shows a variety of benefits to the students who engage in a program of this kind, including:
- Understanding the role of education in Career Success
- Development of career skills: professionalism, communication, and ambition
- Doubled rate of employment over peers who are only high-school completers
- Consistently higher earnings over time
- Decreased dependence on SSI and SSDI income supports
“Data from the national vocational rehabilitation database (RSA 911) show that youth with ID who participated in postsecondary education were 25 percent more likely to leave vocational rehabilitation services with a paid job and earn a 73 percent higher weekly income” – Migliore, A., Butterworth, J., & Hart, D. (2009). Postsecondary education and employment outcomes for youth with intellectual disabilities. Think College Fast Facts, 1.
Explore the following websites for more information on post-secondary inclusive education: