The U.S. Department of Education has approved Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) as one of a hand full of post-secondary institutions offering a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) for students with intellectual disabilities. BCTC already was working with the University of Kentucky’s Supported Higher Education Project (SHEP) to support students with intellectual disabilities as they enroll in courses at BCTC. Additionally, SHEP provides professional development and technical assistance for faculty and staff.
“The approval of BCTC’s Comprehensive Transition Program is a tremendous step forward in making higher education a reality for anyone, regardless of disability, who consider themselves lifelong learners,” said Barry Whaley, director of the Supported Higher Education Project at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute. “We value our long-term partnership with BCTC, and we are committed to our continued work to make higher education inclusive and diverse.”
The approval of BCTC’s CTP application allows SHEP students to apply for federal financial aid, which will support their academic endeavors at the college. For this program, students with intellectual disabilities are defined as those who have cognitive disabilities and received special education in secondary school.
“SHEP students are an important part of the BCTC community and have the opportunity to experience campus both academically and socially,” said Dr. Rebecca Simms, BCTC director of Post-secondary Partnerships. “We promote an inclusive college culture in which diversity is valued. Our goal is to enrich each student’s experience and improve individual achievement.”