Why We’re Focused on Serving Students, Not Selling to Them
Within IHECP, we’ve embraced
the idea of inclusion on the post-secondary level as a movement that empowers students with disabilities and their families. We’ve always been passionate about leading the inclusion movement, which is why we
strive to give students access to
all of the inclusive services and resources available to them so they can decide what works best for their needs. If our services aren’t the right fit for a student, we want to make sure they know their options so they can experience college the way they deserve.
Recently, we’ve met a lot of families and professionals who weren’t aware of the different inclusive academic services available in the state of Colorado. They’ve heard from other groups that there are only three college campuses in Colorado that provide these inclusive services to students with disabilities. We’ve heard that, too.
Here’s why that’s wrong, and what’s really going on in the inclusive college movement.
At IHECP, we believe it’s important that students be supported when deciding on inclusive college services. To us, this means educating students on what an inclusive college can do for them —instead of just marketing or selling our own services. Alarmingly, other groups have been using this false information to their advantage by telling students that there are only 3 campuses with inclusive services in Colorado. By only sharing information on those 3 campuses and locations, they’re limiting the information about services and resources for students. When a group is only focused on selling to students, they aren’t concerned about making sure the students are aware of all their options.
The truth is, there are five college campuses that provide inclusive services in Colorado. So regardless of what you may hear —or how many ads you see —there are plenty of groups out there who are focused on serving students with inclusive programs and services. The five campuses that provide these services are:
Last semester, IHECP served 59 students on and off the Auraria Campus through partnerships with school districts, transition programs, and students on campus. In the coming semesters, we hope to double that number and to serve even more students in the community.
We love operating on the Auraria Campus, which allows students to learn, work, and live in their hometown. This allows connections to be maintained and for their contributions to be local. That’s important to our students, and it’s important to us as we continue pushing for open communication and resources within the inclusive college movement.
But while we provide inclusive services for students at all three colleges at the Auraria campus, we also want to ensure that students know there are other options available for them at other campuses. Because, at the end of the day, we want what is best for these students, not what’s best for our bottom line.
What Makes IHECP Different
IHECP is committed to serving students by providing inclusive college experiences for students with learning, intellectual, and developmental disabilities where they attend classes, interact with faculty, and explore college life just as any other student would. With our college prep and certificate services, students are able to develop their social skills, build independence, and expand their career options while increasing earning potential. Students with learning, intellectual, and developmental disabilities have so many great options available to them, and it’s important to us that they know what each one of these services are.
In our effort to provide the best services to our students, we commit as much of our funding as possible directly to them: 92 cents of every dollar IHECP receives goes back into student services. The other 8 cents goes to operational costs such as insurance and website management. This transparency is part of our commitment to the community, and we believe it’s a standard that all truly inclusive services should adhere to.
Thanks to our lower operational costs, IHECP is also able to provide more support for different categories of students. For example, other groups may exclude some students who may not be able to live on campus, or only offer services to individuals with a singular disability. This could seriously hinder a student’s ability to seek inclusive college services if they are lead to believe that services are only available to specific people.
Why We’re Passionate About Serving Students
When you’re looking at choosing inclusive college services, you need to know all of the opportunities available to your student so he or she can find the right fit. As inclusive college service providers, we feel it’s our duty to be transparent and support the community at large, not just try to market to them.
We want to see students succeed and thrive, even if that means it’s not with our organization. We want to celebrate that they’ve got options, not limit their options. We’re proud of our inclusive services and the resources we’re able to provide for students with disabilities in Colorado. You can learn more about our mission, services, and locations here.