Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. With a commitment to equity and excellence, Think College supports evidence-based and student-centered research and practice by generating and sharing knowledge, guiding institutional change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals, and families.
The Think Inclusive College West Coast Coalition is the regional hub for Think College. It is a collaboration of higher education professionals, transition educators, inclusive college advocates, parents, and youths age 15 – 25 in Oregon, Washington, northern California, and Idaho. Working collaboratively, we successfully advocated for a college program at PSU. Together we will explore best practices and innovative programs to builds partnerships and collaborate to create more post-secondary inclusive options for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the NW region. We encourage you to join us to bring about powerful, positive change!
The Think Inclusive College Advisory Group includes:
- Angela Jarvis-Holland, Executive Director, NWDSA/ABI
- Jamie Burch, Project & Community Coordinator, NWDSA/ABI
- Maria Rangel, Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, NWDSA/ABI
- Rachel Esteve, New Parent Outreach Coordinator Assistant, NWDSA/ABI
- Daniel Jarvis-Holland, ABI Social Justice Youth Program, NWDSA/ABI
- Stephanie Smith Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, National Down Syndrome Congress
- Mary Morningstar, Professor, Portland State University School of Education
- Candace Pelt, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Oregon Department of Education
- Jennifer Spencer-Iiams, Assistant Superintendent, West Linn-Wilsonville School District
- Debra Hart, Director of Education and Transition Team, Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass
- Denise Rozell, Director of Policy Innovation, Association of Centers on Disabilities
- Guadalupe Guerrero, Superintendent, Portland Public Schools
- Dr. Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent, West Linn-Wilsonville School District
- Heather Lindsey, Deputy Director, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation,
If you would like to be a part of this work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest NEWS About Think Inclusive College West Coast Coalition
Will, one of the first students to complete the College and Community Studies program at PSU, and staff member at NWDSA/ABI reflects on his transition and college experience.
NW Disability Support supports House Bill 2590 in Oregon and is pleased to see effort around identifying root causes of underrepresentation in higher education and steps toward remedies occurring. To be sure HB 2590 is inclusive, a wording amendment to the bill is requested.
When you think about your child’s future do you think about them going to college? More than ever, college is an option for students with an intellectual disability. However, options in the western United States are limited. Until four years ago, there wasn’t even one inclusive college option in Oregon.
Every four years, federal funding is awarded to expand college options for youth with intellectual disabilities. We work hard to promote more options with our Think College coalition. This funding round created some new opportunities, and Beth Foraker-who has been an active participant in our ABI summit-will be directing a new inclusive program in California, the Redwood SEED Scholars program at UC Davis MIND Institute. There will be a new program in Idaho, and Washington State has the ROAR Program. PSU and Highline are continuing their programs and commitment to our students, and we are delighted we are seeing growth on the West Coast, and more options for our youth.
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This testimony is a contribution to the Equity in Education meeting discussions. It recognizes people with disabilities are an underrepresented group and the equity of their education needs to be elevated and included in equity discussions.
An update from Jamie Burch regarding our Think Inclusive College West Coast Coalition.
Press About Think College
PSU program opens doors of higher ed to students with intellectual disabilities. (portlandtribune.com)
Hundreds of colleges across the U.S. are opening doors to higher education for students with intellectual disability. The 36-minute film “Opening Doors to College” shows how students like Curtis, Janet, Fudia, and Missy are leading this inclusion revolution as they immerse themselves in classes, residential life, extracurricular activities, and the entire college experience at Millersville and Temple Universities.
This film was supported by the Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the acquisition of a Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant.