From amounts appropriated under section
1140r of this title, the Secretary shall award a grant to, or enter into a contract or cooperative agreement with, an eligible entity to provide for the establishment and support of a National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities (in this subsection referred to as the “National Center”). The National Center shall carry out the duties set forth in paragraph (4).
The program under this section shall be administered by the office in the Department that administers other postsecondary education programs.
(3) Eligible entity
In this subpart, the term “eligible entity” means an institution of higher education, a nonprofit organization, or partnership of two or more such institutions or organizations, with demonstrated expertise in—
(A)supporting students with disabilities in postsecondary education;
(B)technical knowledge necessary for the dissemination of information in accessible formats;
(C)working with diverse types of institutions of higher education, including community colleges; and
(D)the subjects supported by the grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements authorized in subparts 1, 2, and 3.
The duties of the National Center shall include the following:
(A) Assistance to students and families
The National Center shall provide information and technical assistance to students with disabilities and the families of students with disabilities to support students across the broad spectrum of disabilities, including—
(i)information to assist individuals with disabilities who are prospective students of an institution of higher education in planning for postsecondary education while the students are in secondary school;
(ii)information and technical assistance provided to individualized education program teams (as defined in section
1414(d)(1) of this title) for secondary school students with disabilities, and to early outreach and student services programs, including programs authorized under subparts 2, 4, and 5 of part A of subchapter IV, to support students across a broad spectrum of disabilities with the successful transition to postsecondary education;
(iii)research-based supports, services, and accommodations which are available in postsecondary settings, including services provided by other agencies such as vocational rehabilitation;
(iv)information on student mentoring and networking opportunities for students with disabilities; and
(v)effective recruitment and transition programs at postsecondary educational institutions.
(B) Assistance to institutions of higher education
The National Center shall provide information and technical assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators of institutions of higher education to improve the services provided to, the accommodations for, the retention rates of, and the completion rates of, students with disabilities in higher education settings, which may include—
(i)collection and dissemination of best and promising practices and materials for accommodating and supporting students with disabilities, including practices and materials supported by the grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements authorized under subparts 1, 2, and 3;
(ii)development and provision of training modules for higher education faculty on exemplary practices for accommodating and supporting postsecondary students with disabilities across a range of academic fields, which may include universal design for learning and practices supported by the grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements authorized under subparts 1, 2, and 3; and
(iii)development of technology-based tutorials for higher education faculty and staff, including new faculty and graduate students, on best and promising practices related to support and retention of students with disabilities in postsecondary education.
(C) Information collection and dissemination
The National Center shall be responsible for building, maintaining, and updating a database of disability support services information with respect to institutions of higher education, or for expanding and updating an existing database of disabilities support services information with respect to institutions of higher education. Such database shall be available to the general public through a website built to high technical standards of accessibility practicable for the broad spectrum of individuals with disabilities. Such database and website shall include available information on—
(i)disability documentation requirements;
(ii)support services available;
(iii)links to financial aid;
(v)accessible instructional materials;
(vi)other topics relevant to students with disabilities; and
(vii)the information in the report described in subparagraph (E).
(D) Disability support services
The National Center shall work with organizations and individuals with proven expertise related to disability support services for postsecondary students with disabilities to evaluate, improve, and disseminate information related to the delivery of high quality disability support services at institutions of higher education.
(E) Review and report
Not later than three years after the establishment of the National Center, and every two years thereafter, the National Center shall prepare and disseminate a report to the Secretary and the authorizing committees analyzing the condition of postsecondary success for students with disabilities. Such report shall include—
(i)a review of the activities and the effectiveness of the programs authorized under this part;
(ii)annual enrollment and graduation rates of students with disabilities in institutions of higher education from publicly reported data;
(iii)recommendations for effective postsecondary supports and services for students with disabilities, and how such supports and services may be widely implemented at institutions of higher education;
(iv)recommendations on reducing barriers to full participation for students with disabilities in higher education; and
(v)a description of strategies with a demonstrated record of effectiveness in improving the success of such students in postsecondary education.
(F) Staffing of the Center
In hiring employees of the National Center, the National Center shall consider the expertise and experience of prospective employees in providing training and technical assistance to practitioners.
(b) Coordinating center
(1) Definition of eligible entity
In this subsection, the term “eligible entity” means an entity, or a partnership of entities, that has demonstrated expertise in the fields of—
(B)the education of students with intellectual disabilities;
(C)the development of comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities; and
(D)evaluation and technical assistance.
(2) In general
From amounts appropriated under section
1140r of this title, the Secretary shall enter into a cooperative agreement, on a competitive basis, with an eligible entity for the purpose of establishing a coordinating center for institutions of higher education that offer inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities, including institutions participating in grants authorized under subpart 2, to provide—
(A)recommendations related to the development of standards for such programs;
(B)technical assistance for such programs; and
(C)evaluations for such programs.
The program under this subsection shall be administered by the office in the Department that administers other postsecondary education programs.
The Secretary shall enter into a cooperative agreement under this subsection for a period of five years.
(5) Requirements of cooperative agreement
The eligible entity entering into a cooperative agreement under this subsection shall establish and maintain a coordinating center that shall—
(A)serve as the technical assistance entity for all comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities;
(B)provide technical assistance regarding the development, evaluation, and continuous improvement of such programs;
(C)develop an evaluation protocol for such programs that includes qualitative and quantitative methodologies for measuring student outcomes and program strengths in the areas of academic enrichment, socialization, independent living, and competitive or supported employment;
(D)assist recipients of grants under subpart 2 in efforts to award a meaningful credential to students with intellectual disabilities upon the completion of such programs, which credential shall take into consideration unique State factors;
(E)develop recommendations for the necessary components of such programs, such as—
(i)academic, vocational, social, and independent living skills;
(ii)evaluation of student progress;
(iii)program administration and evaluation;
(iv)student eligibility; and
(v)issues regarding the equivalency of a student’s participation in such programs to semester, trimester, quarter, credit, or clock hours at an institution of higher education, as the case may be;
(F)analyze possible funding streams for such programs and provide recommendations regarding the funding streams;
(G)develop model memoranda of agreement for use between or among institutions of higher education and State and local agencies providing funding for such programs;
(H)develop mechanisms for regular communication, outreach and dissemination of information about comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities under subpart 2 between or among such programs and to families and prospective students;
(I)host a meeting of all recipients of grants under subpart 2 not less often than once each year; and
(J)convene a workgroup to develop and recommend model criteria, standards, and components of such programs as described in subparagraph (E), that are appropriate for the development of accreditation standards, which workgroup shall include—
(i)an expert in higher education;
(ii)an expert in special education;
(iii)a disability organization that represents students with intellectual disabilities;
(iv)a representative from the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity; and
(v)a representative of a regional or national accreditation agency or association.
Not later than five years after the date of the establishment of the coordinating center under this subsection, the coordinating center shall report to the Secretary, the authorizing committees, and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity on the recommendations of the workgroup described in paragraph (5)(J).
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
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