The College Fix’s Matt Yglesias has a piece about how colleges are struggling to keep up with the letterpeople program, the latest in a series of programs designed to help students with disabilities access their degrees.
The letterpeople programs are often touted as a way for students to get into the workforce after graduating high school, but critics have raised concerns about how these programs help people who have mental illnesses and other disabilities access college.
The National Council on Disability (NCD) has long pushed for more access to college, particularly after the passing of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The bill gave states the authority to require schools to offer more intensive and tailored programs to help people with disabilities get into college.
But as colleges have added programs to the curriculum, many states have struggled to keep pace with the demand.
In 2016, for example, only one-third of students with a disability attended college for their first year of college, according to the Center for College Access and Success, which advocates for more equitable access to education.
This is a dramatic drop from the more than 50 percent of students in 2012, according the report.
Meanwhile, students who receive the most intensive programs from their schools, such as those offered through the NCD, are most likely to complete their degrees, according data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
The report shows that the average student graduating from high school with a disabilities program completed their degrees in less than three years, compared to nearly six years for students who did not receive the programs.
And many of the programs are designed to be tailored to the needs of students who have disabilities, such in how they can get to class or how they work or study.
The National Council of State Colleges and Universities said it is also working on programs that would help students who are unable to attend classes.
But a new report from the non-profit organization, the College Access Coalition, argues that these programs don’t help students and the government should take action.
“This is a critical time for education reform,” said Jennifer M. Davis, the president of the College Association, in a statement.
“The College Access Act has done nothing to change the underlying inequities in access to higher education.”
The coalition says colleges and universities are missing a critical opportunity to increase the number of students able to afford a college degree and expand their college network.
“The problem is not that schools are not trying to provide the most effective and efficient programs,” Davis said.
“It is that they are failing to make sure that all students have access to those programs.”
When people are not able to access the best and most efficient college options, we will be unable to educate and serve our students, and the cost to students will continue to rise.
“The report, written by a team of experts, found that the number and type of programs offered to students with intellectual disabilities rose by 23 percent between the year 2000 and 2020, as well as the percentage of students taking courses with disability-specific content.
While these programs were more effective in providing information about how to achieve the program’s goals, they did not reach more students with mental illnesses or other disabilities.
In some cases, the programs were offered only to students who had a specific medical condition, such for someone who had Down syndrome.
The coalition found that only about 6 percent of the students with disability who received programs did so for their second year, compared with 16 percent for students without disabilities.
While the coalition said these programs did not make up for the program gaps in the previous two years, the report said they are an important step toward increasing the number in the pipeline.
For example, the coalition found about 70 percent of those with disabilities who received a program in the 2020s attended college, compared a rate of 65 percent in the 2000s.
The coalition also said that in the years after 2020, more than 80 percent of college-ready students who received letters were enrolled in college.
Students with disabilities can benefit from the programs as much as anyone else, the letterwriters argued.
They have to make decisions on how to spend their time.
For example, a student with a mental illness who does not know what the letterperson wants to do may not know how to get to the appropriate class.
But the letterwomen say that programs should not be a substitute for a college education.”
“Students need access to these programs because they have a choice. “
We can’t say to them, ‘You have to go to college to get an education.’ “
Students need access to these programs because they have a choice.
We can’t say to them, ‘You have to go to college to get an education.’
They can have it, or they can choose to go somewhere else.”
Follow Michaela Grady on Twitter at @MGradyDC.