If you attended the convention in Summer 2018, you may have had the opportunity to interact with representatives from Think College. The organization is part of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and they work with families to help navigate the exciting and complicated process of considering college options for our daughters and sons with Williams syndrome.
Think College conducts research related to transition and dual enrollment, employment, and higher education for students with intellectual disability, and uses these findings to create resources for expanding college access and improving student outcomes. Their website is very informative. Be sure to navigate throughout the site to find both state and federal resources An organization fact sheet can be accessed here.
Though their site is quite comprehensive, Rebecca Lazo, Knowledge Translation Associate at Think College, told us that staff really enjoys speaking to and connecting with families, so feel free to pick up the phone: (617) 287-4300. “Our website has lots of good resources, and we share regularly via social media. But if you have a question, please reach out to us directly and we are happy to talk with you."
Cate Weir, program director for the Think College National Coordinating Center, says that they love to give answers to families, but that the relationship goes both ways.
“Think College loves to talk to parents and students about college options. And we ask parents to share what they learn with others. We want to be sure that everyone knows that college is an option for ALL students.”
Rebecca reminds families interested in the college path that planning ahead is key. Talk to your children about work they may want to do someday and work back from there as far as considering programs for college. She stresses that it is never too early to discuss college as a goal with IEP partners.
Think College offers many valuable and complimentary webinars every month. Interested parents should check their site regularly and register here.
Think College is a terrific resource; we appreciate their collaborative efforts with college inclusion and willingness to share their knowledge with us.