One of Brandon University’s newer programs through Student Services is the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) initiative, which began in January 2017. As stated by Brandon University’s Accessibility Plan, the program helps students to “develop social, literacy, and life skills which will lead to successful employment upon graduation. The purpose of this initiative is to support students affected by intellectual disabilities in their educational endeavours, and to have the best student experience possible.”
IPSE’s webpage states that students affected by intellectual disabilities choose to come to Brandon University for the same reasons as any other student does, citing such reasons as continuing their learning, making connections and relationships with peers, to develop skills or enhance confidence, make contacts in their desired scholastic discipline, develop career opportunities through activities such as networking and practicums, and with the hopes of securing meaningful, sustainable employment. To help students achieve their aims, IPSE allows students to audit 1-2 courses per term in a program of study which interests them. The limiting of courses keeps students’ schedules flexible, and to encourage students to set attainable goals and learning expectations.
To help students as much as possible, each student participating in the IPSE program works closely with a member of BU’s inactive staff. This staff member also works with the student’s professor(s) to ensure that the student is able to get the best learning experience out of their chosen course(s), and to ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience.
IPSE is a result of BU’s partnership with Inclusion Westman, which was formerly known as Community Living Brandon, as is detailed in BU’s Accessibility Plan. The aims of this program are also detailed in the Academic Plan for the university, sectioned under the heading of “Priority D”. More information about the Academic Plan and the Accessibility Plan can be found on Brandon University’s website at www.brandonu.ca/ama/ and www.brandonu.ca/academic-plan/, respectively. More information about Inclusion Westman can be found at their website clbrandon.com/.
IPSE is an initiative that runs year-round in support of students. When students are not in class during periods such as the summer months, IPSE helps them to work on other skills and resume builders. This includes helping students to find employment and volunteer work opportunities.
Students who are interested in working with the IPSE program to help its students partake in a well-rounded student experience, or anyone who is interested in the program in any capacity, is encouraged to contact the program coordinator, Victoria Lelond. Lelond’s office is located in room 106 of the McKenzie Building, and can be reached via email at email@example.com or phone at 204-727-7312.