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Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Can a UCED be the lead applicant if we apply as a consortium of IHEs?
  2. Are proprietary schools (IHEs) eligible to participate in the TPSID program?
  3. How many grants will be awarded to create a program vs. how many to enhance a program?
  4. Can the first year be used as a planning year?
  5. How many letters of support should one include in a TPSID application?
  6. Are there expectations on how different dollars (IDEA vs. grant vs. IHE) are spent?
  7. Can applicants budget more than $4,000 towards the TPSID Coordinating Center?
  8. Does the definition of intellectual disability (ID) include individuals with autism spectrum disorder?
  9. Is there any additional guidance regarding the definition of "meaningful credential?"
  10. Can students who have been home schooled and/or who have gone to private school participate in the TPSID program?
  11. May non-traditional/older students with ID participate in the TPSID program?
  12. The ''program'' and its length will be different for each person. It may be challenging to determine how to award a certificate since each person may require certain things to feel completed. Can you clarify this situation?
  13. What type of commitment should applicants receive from vocational rehabilitation? Is a commitment letter or a letter of support needed?
  14. What can be used to meet the TPSID matching requirement?
  15. Is there additional information available regarding the TPSID Program?

1. Can a UCED be the lead applicant if we apply as a consortium of IHEs?

The program legislation does not prohibit an institution of higher education (IHE) that will not have the program at their IHE from serving as the lead applicant.

Experienced and inexperienced applicants must independently decide the role they would like their UCED (University Center for Excellence in Disability) to play with regards to their comprehensive transition programs. All eligible applicants will want to consider a role that is in the overall best interest of their program/project. Applicants that decide to allow an IHE other than the one who will have the comprehensive transition and postsecondary program at their IHE serve as the lead applicant may want to consider how the grant would benefit by having the IHE, who is not going to have the comprehensive transition program at their school, serve as the lead applicant.

Additionally, if you decide to make the UCED the lead entity (although it would not be the entity with the comprehensive transition program at your IHE), please be sure to consider whether or not this may (or may not) affect the evaluation of the comprehensive transition program (because all applicants who receive grants under this program will have specific reporting requirements they must meet as a result of accepting a grant under the TPSID program) and/or may (or may not) effect you as the lead entity's ability to ensure that the goals of the program are met.

Also please note that, for the duration of the project, the IHE to whom TPSID funds are obligated will remain the fiscal agent for the project.

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2. Are proprietary schools (IHEs) eligible to participate in the TPSID program?

No.

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3. How many grants will be awarded to create a program vs. how many to enhance a program?

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) will not consider the percentage of projects that will be funded based on where the project is in the development phase. It is expected that there will be a range of approved applications funded, representing the continuum of development. The learning that emanates from these models and the coordinating center will be important in future years to reach out to new programs and encourage their participation in the TPSID program.

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4. Can the first year be used as a planning year?

Effective October 1, 2010, those selected to receive awards under the TPSID program will have access to their grant awards. Additionally, each grantee has reporting requirements that must be met on an annual basis. The reporting period began October 1, 2010.

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5. How many letters of support should one include in a TPSID application?

There is no limitation on the number of letters of support one may submit with their TPSID application, but applicants are asked to be reasonable when making that determination.

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6. Are there expectations on how different dollars (IDEA vs. grant vs. IHE) are spent?

Individuals with Disablities Education Act (IDEA) dollars are guided by the needs of the students as determined in the students IEP (individualized education plan) as appropriate. The use of IDEA dollars must be according to the cost rules of IDEA funding, and always aligned with the needs of students based on the student's individualized education program. There is a 25 percent matching requirement in the TPSID program. This contribution can be in fiscal contributions, or other in-kind contributions that an institution can offer. The entire TPSID budget is not intended to supplant existing program resources that are being used if the institution already has a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program in place. Rather, the TPSID grant is used to extend the scope, breath, or depth of the existing comprehensive transition and postsecondary program. There is requirement for TPSID grants to build sustainable programs -- this can best be accomplished if institutions contribute and support the program early in its development.

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7. Can applicants budget more than $4,000 towards the TPSID Coordinating Center?

Each applicant may determine this on an individual basis.

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8. Does the definition of intellectual disability (ID) include individuals with autism spectrum disorder?

The comprehensive transition and postsecondary program is targeted at providing access to postsecondary education to those students who traditionally have been unable to participate in higher education. If a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a significant cognitive impairment with significant limitation in cognitive functioning, and limitations in adaptive behavior, and who was formerly or currently eligible for IDEA services, that student does meet the definition of an eligible student.

If a student with ASD does not meet this definition, and their disability does not present any significant intellectual or cognitive functioning or adaptive behavior, the student may be admitted to the institution, and may be considered a student with a disability, and thus entitled to disability support services and/or accommodations consistent with other federal policies such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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9. Is there any additional guidance regarding the definition of "meaningful credential?"

This is a determination that applicants must make on an individual basis. Applicants seeking additional information in the area of "meaningful credential" will likely uncover such information during their own literature review process and/or may want to consider conferring with other IHEs or similar entities that have existing comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

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10. Can students who have been home schooled and/or who have gone to private school participate in the TPSID program?

Yes. However, these students must have been (or will in the future) participate in an IDEA eligibility determination process and determined to be eligible for IDEA services, regardless of whether they actually did receive or will receive services under IDEA.

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11. May non-traditional/older students with ID participate in the TPSID program?

The program regulations do not prohibit, non-traditional/older adult ID students from participating in the TPSID program.

Applicants who may be considering targeting adult ID students may also want to consider:

  • IHEs must have written, verifiable documentation that the adult ID students were deemed eligible for IDEA (the students are currently or were formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1140 Section 760 (2));
  • TPSID grant funds cannot be used for direct financial aid and can only be used for TPSID program supports and services;
  • A gentle reminder regarding the definition of a student with an intellectual disability:
    1. with mental retardation or a cognitive impairment, characterized by significant limitations in: (i) intellectual and cognitive functioning; and (ii) adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; and
    2. who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1140, Section 760 (2)).
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12. The ''program'' and its length will be different for each person. It may be challenging to determine how to award a certificate since each person may require certain things to feel completed. Can you clarify this situation?

Each applicant will need to determine these factors on an individual basis. Applicants seeking more detailed information will likely uncover such information during the literature review process and/or they may want to consider conferring with other IHEs or similar entities that have existing comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

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13. What type of commitment should applicants receive from vocational rehabilitation? Is a commitment letter or a letter of support needed?

The TPSID program legislation does not specifically address this. It is likely that applicants who are interested in a concrete commitment with those entities they plan to work in partnership with, will have some sort of written agreement outlining the terms of the commitment so that all pertinent parties will be clear about what is expected of each entity for the timeframe specified in the written agreement.

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14. What can be used to meet the TPSID matching requirement?

Cash and in-kind contributions (personnel, space, equipment) are examples of support that may be used to meet the matching requirement. Donated time may be used as cost share because the persons working on a grant are not being paid for the time that they are working.

The TPSID program has an eight percent indirect cost rate cap. Unrecovered indirect costs (IHEs who have negotiated indirect cost rates well above eight percent who may be seeking to utilize the remaining indirect costs that they were unable to utilize because of the eight percent cap) MAY NOT be used to meet the match under the TPSID program.

Please note, the matching requirement can not be met with federal funds.

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15. Is there additional information available regarding the TPSID Program?

Additional questions and answers and information from the last technical assistance workshop are available:

Institutional Service Home

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Last Modified: 09/30/2014