It has come to our attention that our article on the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education article and photo, published on the cover of the October 3rd, 2017 issue of The Quill, was misinformed and incorrect. We apologize for the errors in our reporting, and wish to rectify this. IPSE is a wonderful program that affords opportunities to students that previously did not have them, and we want to make sure our readership has all of the correct information about it. The following information was provided to us by Victoria Lelond, the coordinator of the program.
Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) was created by a group of committed families whose dreams and vision for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities was to have the same opportunities as any other person.
IPSE is an initiative that supports students with intellectual disabilities to be fully included in university: to succeed academically, build meaningful relationships with like-minded people, and access all avenues of campus life. Inclusive Post-Secondary Education is a partnership between Inclusion Westman (formerly Community Living Brandon) and Brandon University. Students who receive support through Inclusive Post-Secondary education take courses for same reasons as anyone else, to continue their education, to search and follow career aspirations, to meet new people, to have a full campus life, and a rich university experience. There are many other initiatives across Canada that proves to be successful for all students and faculty. What makes it so successful is the support students receive from their professors, classmates and peers.
Brandon University’s partnership with Inclusive Post-Secondary Education launched in January 2017 and thus far has truly shown a benefit not only to the students but also to faculty, the BU community and students across campus. Students enroll as audit students in a coherent program of study and work alongside their peers to complete course work and assignments. Unlike traditional audit students, students attending BU through IPSE complete course work and exams and participate in all aspects of campus life.
Students who have intellectual disabilities come to Brandon University for the same reasons as other students do:
to continue their learning
to make connections with their peers and develop lifelong relationships
to develop new skills and enhance confidence in many areas of their lives
to be a valued and contributing member of student life
to make contacts in their desired field of study
to develop career opportunities through building networks on campus and active participation in practicums and classes
to ultimately secure meaningful and sustainable employment
Inclusive Post-Secondary Education allows students to audit 1-2 courses per semester, which gives students schedule flexibility. Students typically take a reduced course-load and audit classes, which allows the IPSE team to modify the goals and support students individually. Their week looks pretty much like other students weeks, with a mixture of classes, study groups, homework, recreation and fitness, volunteerism, work and just hanging out.
Upon completion of the 3-4 year program of study, students receive a Certificate of Completion and attend and participate in Convocation with their peers.
Inclusive Post-Secondary Education at Brandon University promotes an authentic student experience. By supporting post-secondary institutions to include students with intellectual disabilities, we intend to generate a new understanding of ‘intellectual disability’ that opens rich opportunities, possibilities for life-long learning, belonging, and contribution.
The success of students shows that an authentic student experience can be expected if there are conscious, creative, and collaborative efforts to minimize difference that affects the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.