The Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL), Developmental Disabilities Service Division (DDSD) Post-Secondary Education Initiative (PSEI) promotes college education and industry based career training for transition-age youth with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities (DD/ID) and promotes access to lifelong learning for adults with DD/ID.
In 2013, the Developmental Disability Services Division (DDSD), the Agency of Education, and post-secondary organizations created the Vermont Post Secondary Education Consortium Initiative to unify missions and service commonalities. This created an integrated approach to high schools, families, and funders. The sharing of resources and knowledge and cross mentoring between programs has served to elevate the success and stability for each program. The Consortium approach streamlines public education about the differences and similarities between programs, making it easier for students, families, and schools to select the best fit. The Consortium works on behalf of each other and by doing so has created a statewide menu of post-secondary educational service options.
Partnering organizations provide one of the following post-secondary educational options:
- Services for youth up to age 26 to attend college and obtain a 2-year degree of higher learning.
- Services to access both adult learning and teaching opportunities
- Services for specialized industry-based training programs for students in their last year of high school
Consortium program members
- Succeed Program - Offered by the HowardCenter in collaboration with area colleges. It is the only DDS program to offer a residential component.
- Think College - A program located at the University of Vermont.
- College Steps Program, Inc - Programs for high school graduates who are interested in attending college and high school students interested in a college primer experience prior to graduation.
- Project SEARCH Vermont - Provides business-located training during the last year of high school to increase employability via technical training in various industries such as health. Project SEARCH programs are located at the following host businesses: The Edge in Burlington, Vermont; Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire; and Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vermont. Contact the DDSD Supported Employment Coordinator or the Vermont Agency of Education for further information. Click for the National Project SEARCH.
- Global Campuses Foundation - A non-profit organization, develops community based, post-secondary education experiences for adults with differing abilities. This unique educational model is tailored to individuals' passions and interests to provide opportunities for peer teaching and learning.
- Mansfield Hall - A college program and residence providing a comprehensive academic, social, emotional and vocational approach to higher education and transition.
- Developmental Disability Agencies collaborating on behalf of their clients include Lamoille County Mental Health Services, Rutland Mental Health Services, United Counseling Services, Families First, Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, Northwestern Counseling and Support Services, Champlain Community Services, Inc, and Northeast Kingdom Human Services.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, State of Vermont - Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) grant funding may be used for job development and training. In addition, individuals who participate in post-secondary education opportunities may receive job placement assistance.
Vermont Family Network (VFN) - A statewide non-profit organization that promotes better health, education and well being for all children and families, with a focus on children and young adults with special needs.
Post-Secondary Consortium program matrix, to better understand the differences between these programs in the consortium.