BATON ROUGE, La. – The Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council has approved applications for funding to create new inclusive education programs and to extend and sustain existing programs at nine institutions across Louisiana.
The Council awarded $80,000 to create new inclusive programs at each of the following universities.
- Louisiana State University of Alexandria
- Louisiana State University and A&M College
- Southern University at New Orleans
- University of Louisiana at Monroe
The Council also awarded $50,000 to expand existing inclusive programs at each of the following colleges and universities:
- Baton Rouge Community College
- Bossier Parish Community College
- Nicholls State University
- Southeastern Louisiana University
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette
These programs focus on providing comprehensive support, fostering an inclusive campus culture, and equipping students with intellectual or developmental disabilities with the skills necessary for success.
“Inclusive education programs have the power to transform lives, families, and communities,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed. “I am delighted that so many institutions are seeking to open their doors to these amazing students, providing life and employment skills while enriching the campus experience for all. A special thanks goes to Senator Gerald Boudreaux for championing this effort and helping Louisiana to lead the way in creating educational opportunities for all learners.”
This round of funding fulfills a stated goal of the Council to expand programs across the state while paying special attention to the northern part of the state and ensuring HBCU participation.
Further, results of a statewide survey indicate that eleven additional institutions are considering participation, reflecting opportunity for future expansion of inclusive education across Louisiana.
“We are thrilled to launch this funding initiative to ensure that all students have equal access to higher education,” said Dr. Gerlinde Beckers, Chair of the Council. “By fostering inclusive learning environments and providing tailored support, we aim to empower these students to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society.”
These actions, combined with the investment in the Louisiana Alliance of Postsecondary Inclusive Education (LAPIE), have directed $670,000 of the $1 million allocated to support this work.
Next steps include hosting an informational webinar to assist new and existing programs in successfully initiating their program development and expansion plans.
About the Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council
Act 682 of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session created the Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council. The Council was established under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents for the purpose of advising the Board with respect to inclusive programs for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and methods to fund and expand inclusive programs in Louisiana.
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Dr. Chris Yandle, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
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