The Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) offers grants to college-school partnerships to support eligible public high school students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18–22, to increase their academic and career success by being included in a college or university community of learners.
Director, Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative
MAICEI has been funded since 2007 as a line-item in the annual state budget.
The state-funded Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) funds partnerships between local school districts and two- and four-year public colleges and universities in Massachusetts. The term “Concurrent Enrollment” means that participating students are still eligible for special education services, even though they have finished four years of high school. Students in MAICEI programs are enrolled in college while at the same time receiving special education services through the school district providing that support.
Students participating in MAICEI are fully included in the campus community as they develop their capacities in career-planning and employment, self-advocacy, and other self-determined abilities that support their post-secondary interests and activities. For example, students participate in:
Evidence shows that students benefit academically and transition to young adulthood more readily when they can engage in the array of academic, social, career development, and individual self-development activities that are typical for all college students on a campus, rather than staying at high school. Students participating in MAICEI quickly establish new social networks, participate in campus-wide events, learn to use public transportation to and from campus, acquire academic knowledge and skills, and build strategies to find fulfilling work. Most important, MAICEI students grow into more independent decision-makers who are better equipped to define their own personal and career goals and determine how to achieve them. Not only have MAICEI programs proven to be important learning experiences for students, they have also supported the development of more inclusive college and university communities. They have also strengthened more person-centered policies and practices for everyone involved in the transition experience, including students, family members, and school personnel.
Student participation in this grant program may be incorporated into a student’s transition program, as determined through the school district’s special education process.
Students with intellectual disabilities who are eligible for the program must be between the ages of:
Students with intellectual disabilities (ID), who, until recently, had few opportunities to continue their education beyond high school, are now pursuing college. This is possible because of expanding ideas about how postsecondary education can benefit a wide range of students. Supported Education is grounded in three principles:
Students with ID need to be given the chance to experience adult learning while we are still in the position of providing support and guidance. Download the Think College Standards for inclusive higher education for more information.
As the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative moves towards its eleventh anniversary, the number of participating partnerships has expanded to 15, serving over 250 students per year. The Department of Higher Education is pleased to support students with intellectual disabilities as they participate in both credit and non-credit courses alongside their non-disabled peers; develop self-determination and self-advocacy skills; improve academic, social, and functional skills; and participate in career planning, vocational skill-building activities, and community-based integrated competitive employment opportunities.
Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment partnerships exist across all sectors of public higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; community colleges, state universities, and the University of Massachusetts system are all represented. Most partnerships are funded through Initiative grants, but several have transitioned into a self-sustaining model and no longer receive Initiative funding. For information on how to become an Initiative partner or how to transition to a self-sustaining model, contact the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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