5 Inclusive College Programs in Colorado You Should Know About

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Our main passion at IHECP is giving students access to inclusive higher education services and resources they wouldn’t normally have —including information on other college programs that could benefit them. While we provide inclusive services and support for all three colleges at the Auraria Campus in Denver, we believe that we have a duty to share all the inclusive education resources available to students with disabilities. We want to make sure students and families know their options so they can choose the program that best fits their individual needs.

Did you know students don’t have to cross state lines to choose their college experience? Most families aren’t aware that Colorado has several options for inclusive post-secondary services, and IHECP is determined to change that. Colorado has five college campuses that provide inclusive services for students with disabilities, all of which are more similar than they are different.

We believe in supporting students by giving them all the information they need on where these campuses are located, what services they offer, and how they can help the student succeed. It’s important to us that families know there are more programs out there than just those you might see advertised. Students should be encouraged to explore all of their options and see what program fits their needs, academic wishes, goals, and interests –just like any other student.

Auraria Campus

The Auraria Campus is located in downtown Denver and is home to three higher education institutions, each with its own dedicated disability services office. IHECP is proud to serve students at this campus each and every year. The Special Learning Support Program at Auraria Campus serves students of all three schools through advisement, remedial and preparatory courses, tutoring, and case management. Our inclusive support services include college preparation, inclusive support services, and academic coaching.

Students served through IHECP support services are students first. As students, our learners draw upon their strengths while recognizing areas of need. Then, the IHECP designs support services to meet students needs andmove our learners toward their academic, social, employment, and community goals.

At IHECP, we want to ensure that students with learning, intellectual, and developmental disabilities have access to services that help them succeed in their higher education and post-college life goals.

Through our continuum of services, students are able to foster their independence, develop their social skills, and expand their options for meaningful employment. Be sure to check out our College Prep, Inclusive Support Services, and Academic Coaching services to help determine the appropriate service model that will meet your needs for your inclusive higher education journey.

Here are a few of the support services for students with disabilities offered by the colleges on Auraria Campus:

Community College of Denver: The Accessibility Center opens the door to a rich college experience by providing services, resources, and reasonable accommodations for our students with disabilities. Students with documented disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to access their courses can apply for services at the Accessibility Center or call.

Metropolitan State University of Denver: MSU Denver has The Access Center, where they work to ensure access and inclusion for all students with disabilities. The Access Center serves students by collaborating with students and faculty to provide accommodations, services and access to academic programs.

University of Colorado Denver: The Disability Resources & Services (DRS) at UC Denver maintains disability-related records, determines eligibility and develops plans to provide academic accommodations for students with disabilities. The DRS also works continuously with members of the campus community to identify solutions to attitudinal and architectural barriers that might hinder the completion of studies by students with disabilities.

Colorado State University

CSU’s campus is located in Fort Collins, just north of Denver. The inclusive services offered to students with disabilities at Colorado State University have been in place since the early 1980s and serve over a thousand students per year. Free tutoring, alternative testing, career services are all offered by the Student Disability Center at CSU. They also help students with self-advocacy support, individual assessment of needs, and counseling for social or emotional support. The Student Disability Center collaborates with students, instructors, staff, and community members to create sustainable and fully inclusive learning environments for students with disabilities.

In line with IHECP’s own mission, the Student Disability Center at CSU is dedicated to making necessary changes in inclusive language and raising disability awareness. Their team works hard to defend inclusive language on campus and maintain excellent service to their students.

University of North Colorado

Located northeast of Denver,the University of North Colorado offers inclusive disability services through The Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC office collaborates with students to advocate for access, equity and inclusion. The office provides students with resources, education, and direct services that are designed to create a more welcoming and inclusive post-secondary environment for students with disabilities. Services offered by the Disability Resource Center at UNC include sign language interpreting services, adaptive technology, note-taking, captioning, testing accommodations, and access to a wealth of resources.

The University of North Colorado also has a fully inclusive non-degree program known as G.O.A.L. (Go On And Learn). G.O.A.L. is specially designed to help students with disabilities successfully attend college courses, live on campus, and gain meaningful employment through inclusive services and highly personalized courses of study. The G.O.A.L. team works to assist students as they integrate into college life by providing support for academic and campus inclusion, as well as preparing them for future competitive careers.

University of Colorado -Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs promotes equitable and inclusive experiences for students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations and advancing awareness and education within the campus community. Students receive individualized inclusive services from trained mentors, peer volunteers, and faculty to help them meet their learning needs and career goals.

Students working with the Office of Inclusive Services at UCCS can earn a nationally recognized certificate, participate in internships, join clubs and participate in campus activities. They can also develop opportunities for off campus employment and set goals for a career path. to have meaningful access to academic, career, and social activities on campus.

Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College is south of Denver, with its main campus located in Littleton. The Student Access Services at ACC offers resources, college courses, programs, and accommodations for students with disabilities. They also work hard to encourage and celebrate accessibility, accountability, and self-advocacy. They offer inclusive college services such as self-advocacy training and support, student independence, advising assistance, and the development of life-long learning strategies.

Arapahoe Community College also provides dedicated inclusive services through their Elevate at ACC program. Elevate is an inclusive program that helps make the post-secondary transition easier for students with disabilities so they can gain independence and increase their opportunities. ACC’s inclusive program offers students assistance in developing an individual program of study, and courses are designed to fit the needs of each student based on their personal skills, competencies, and interests. The services provided by Elevate at ACC focus on helping students enhance their academic skills, integrate into college life, gain access to internships, and embrace self-advocacy.

Making the Right Choice for Your Needs

When choosing the right inclusive college program for your needs, it’s important to consider all of your options. We encourage students and families to learn more about each campus so they can make an informed choice. If possible, visit the campus and explore each school’s inclusive services for a more comprehensive view of how their services will fit your needs. The staff on each campus are well-trained and knowledgeable on disability resources and inclusive services; meeting with them to discuss your needs can give you more information that will help narrow down your search.

The team at IHECP has been truly inspired by each of the schools who have embraced the inclusive movement to help students succeed in their post-secondary goals. We’re excited to see more college campuses in Colorado contribute to the inclusive education movement and we want to celebrate the wealth of options that students have when choosing an inclusive college. 

IHECP is proud to serve the students at all three colleges on the Auraria campus. You can find more information about our services and locations here.