“As an instructor, I feel as if we learn from this student as much as he learns from us.”
—J. LaBranche, Lecturer, Kinesiology
UMass Amherst began implementing the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Program on campus in the fall of 2013. MAICEI provides high school students with significant (typically intellectual and/or developmental) disabilities the opportunity to have a college experience alongside their non-disabled peers. The goal of the MAICEI Program is to enhance the academic access, career development and independence skills of its participants. Students spend their time in classes, campus internships, and recreational activities
Participants also attend informal activities with peer mentors and friends such as local cultural events and campus activities. MAICEI students are supported by the MAICEI program coordinator, educational coaches, and peer mentors.
UMass MAICEI Program Coordinator
161 Whitmore Administration Building
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: (413) 545-0892
“Kayleigh has been on time and very focused in the lessons. She takes all of my suggestions well and tries her best to accomplish the tasks. She has also stood on stage and sung her prepared songs along with a small group of other students. She showed composure and confidence and was proud of her performance.
The students, both those singing with her and the others who were listening, were supportive and enjoyed having her participate in this way. Most of my students are planning to be music teachers in the public schools and they all recognize that this presents them with the opportunity to see how students with learning or developmental issues can be served to their benefit. Finally, I myself, enjoy teaching her. She is a lovely person with a good sense of humor and a joy in singing.
What more could I ask of the situation?”
—M. Melnick, Senior Lecturer, Voice
Dennis is a 20-year-old student from Holyoke, MA. Dennis has completed four semesters here at the UMass MAICEI Program and is currently in his fifth semester for the fall 2018 semester. Dennis is currently enrolled in a class through the Music Department here at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He enjoys playing basketballs at the Recreation Center and also hanging out with the veterans at the Veterans Services.
Dennis is currently enrolled in MUSIC 103 A History of Jazz, but he has taken classes in Sports Management and upper level Music classes. This Music class is a great fit for Dennis since he enjoys taking Ballroom Dancing lessons with his MAICEI peer mentor Kathryn. Besides dancing, Dennis enjoys using his free time on campus to play basketball with Kathryn at the Rec Center.
Dennis’s parents have seen a positive change in Dennis since he’s joined the MAICEI program. They’ve said that he is more motivated in the morning to get up and is excited to get to campus. The experience of participating in campus activities, such as the Ballroom Dancing Socials, has given Dennis more confidence when he attends other formal events. During the UMass MAICEI End of Year Celebration on May 7, 2018, his parents noticed that Dennis walked with confidence and without prompting to stand up and receive his certificate. They also noted that he didn’t hesitate to join other students on the dance floor when the D.J. began to play the music!
Dennis currently works at the Recreation Center’s front desk helping students sign out equipment. His supervisors have expressed that they are very impressed with Dennis’s skills of accessing needs of the students at the gym, by finding the item the student needs and swiping the student’s identification card to complete proper sign-out procedures. The managers at the Recreational Center are impressed with Dennis’s customer service skills and how quickly he learned the tasks that he’s responsible for now.
Dennis also has an internship at the UMass Amherst’s Veterans Service. He completes office work at helps the organization run smoothly. He finds this work rewarding because he has a great relationship with the veterans that come in to the office and likes engaging in conversation and building personal relationships with them.
Where ever Dennis is on campus his smile is what sets him apart from the crowd; students who know Dennis often comment that it is his smile that they notice when they see him.
“My dad attended UMass when he was younger. I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps. Thanks to the MAICEI program, my dream of attending UMass like my dad has finally come true!”
—Jalil C., Student
The University of Massachusetts is a five-campus public research university system renowned for the quality of its academic programs, the scope and excellence of its research, and its enduring adherence to its public service mission. UMass provides access to high-quality, affordable education that advances knowledge and improves the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.
UMass Amherst, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.