You’ll find some frequently asked questions below but please feel free to email or call 902.563.1208 for more information!
What are some of the goals for student participants of Inclusive Post Secondary Education Programs?
* Enhance knowledge, skills, and awareness
* Improve social and communication skills
* Meet peers with similar interests
* Develop friendships
* Continue learning with peers in an academic setting
* Engage in athletic, leisure, and recreational activities with other young adults
* Prepare for future employment possibilities
* Work or volunteer at the university
* Explore personal interests
* Achieve personal goals
* Experience personal growth
Where did IPSE options start and who is doing it?
University of Alberta was the first to begin Inclusive Postsecondary Education programs for students with developmental disabilities in 1987. Alberta continues to be a leader in this area.
Programs in Alberta are delivered by postsecondary institutions in partnership with the Alberta Association for Community Living.
Axcess Acadia was the first IPSE option in Nova Scotia, followed by Mount Saint Vincent and now Cape Breton University.
In June of 2019, the Nova Scotia Inclusive Post-Secondary Education committee was formed.
How are students supported?
Planning: The process of including students with intellectual disabilities begins when each student plans their program of study with the support of their family or other supporters, and our Coordinator. Each student selects courses based on their interests, career goals, past experiences, or the areas they wish to explore.
Registration: After a student has selected their courses, the coordinator approaches each course instructor to explain the program and request permission for that student to audit the course. Once a program of courses is set, the students are assisted through the registration process as auditing students at Cape Breton University.
Academic Support: The Coordinator will assist with building a foundation with peer support for the student in each course. In addition, a peer mentor may be provided to each student.
Ongoing Support: As the students attend classes the coordinator, peer mentors and volunteers of the program support the students by shaping course content and adapting assignments to meet their unique individual needs and abilities. Their programs are designed to mirror the academic experiences of other university students including classes, labs, library work, study groups, and field trips. Students may study in any faculty or school at Cape Breton University with the permission of the course instructor.
Who can apply?
The program is designed to support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who otherwise would be excluded from post-secondary education. Prior academic achievement is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the program. However, the applicant’s level of commitment and interest in post-secondary study, and the support of family and friends are important factors. Students are not excluded due to the severity of their impairments. Resource limitations may restrict the intake of new students. Currently, we are seeking students with learning and life goals that best fit the programs and courses available at Cape Breton University. An application and interview with the applicant and their family/caregivers is required.
What will it cost?
Students pay the auditing fee for each course which is $402 for the 2019/2020 academic year. Students are responsible for paying for their own transportation, student fees, books, supplies, and incidental expenses. Monetary support may be available for educational disability-related supports such as, tutoring, note taking, communication supports, assistive technology or specialized transportation.
What about social activities?
Volunteers encourage and support students in the program as they participate in leisure activities, recreational activities, intramural sports, university clubs and relaxing time at lunch or between classes. The opportunity to develop friendships and acquaintances with their peers at the university is an important aspect of the program.