Postsecondary Education

Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Indiana

An option for students with disabilities in the transition to adulthood is enrollment in postsecondary education, and Indiana has a number of options including community colleges, as well as both public and private colleges and universities. Students with disabilities make up a significant portion of college and university campuses, and nearly 19 percent of postsecondary students have a disability today.

It is important for students with disabilities and their families to understand the range of options available to them and what will best meet their needs. While some students may opt for four-year bachelor’s degree programs, many others will benefit greatly from associates degree programs, certificate programs, or inclusive postsecondary education programs. Families must consider that requirements and eligibility for enrollment will vary with the institution and the level of diploma the student has achieved, and therefore being informed about your options is important to ensure success.

Academic Programs for Degree-Seeking Students

If you are an Indiana student with a disability who is graduating with a Core 40 Diploma or a General Diploma, you might be planning to attend a two-year college or a university to begin work toward a certificate or academic degree.

Whether you're seeking a certificate or an academic degree, be sure to plan ahead. Talk to your parents, your academic advisor, and if you've applied for and are eligible for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, talk to your Indiana VR counselor too. You'll want to:

  • visit colleges,
  • have a financial plan for tuition and books as well as room and board if you're not commuting, and
  • talk to the disability services office at each school where you plan to submit an application. 
Beneficience at Ball State University

Ivy Tech Community Colleges as well as several other two-year colleges around the state offer training programs for students who want to build their skills and knowledge and earn a certificate in careers such as welding, radiology technician, automotive maintenance, and culinary and hospitality employment. Two-year and community colleges also offer courses for students seeking a bachelor's degree or for those who want to start with the basics and then transfer later to a university program. 

Some Indiana colleges and universities have additional programs to include and support students with disabilities. Some offer peer mentoring and academic tutoring programs, for instance, that recognize individual challenges and offer additional supports on campus for managing schedules or connecting with social groups.

Click on the links below to find out more about:

Experiences for Students in Transition

An Inspire student at Franklin College. 

For students with an intellectual disability, Indiana has four college-based programs which provide an opportunity to learn and grow on a college campus as they transition into adulthood. These programs promote postsecondary exploration and participation for students with intellectual disabilities with an emphasis on the development of employment skills.

In Indiana, the four postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities vary in their criteria for admission and it is worth exploring your options. All four campuses house transition programs that collaborate with nearby school systems to identify students who would benefit from being included in work, social events, and academic activities on campus. These programs will only accept students from their local school districts, and typically these students are in their final year of high school who will be leaving school with a Certificate of Completion. Huntington University offers a program that accepts students who have already graduated or left their high schools from across the state.

As you begin your search, Think College provides a resource for students and families to assess their options in postsecondary education. Think College is a national organization dedicated to improving higher education options for people with intellectual disabilities by sharing knowledge, guiding change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals, and families. Their website includes many resources including a College Search tool to help identify potential options.

In addition to the current four programs, two others are in development and more information will be shared shortly!

To see what these postsecondary programs can offer, take a look at this video from Huntington University's ABLE program. 


Indiana Colleges and Universities Offering Campus Experience Programs

ABLE (Achieving Balance in Life Through Education)
Huntington University
Huntington, IN
Contact: Erica Marshall

AIM (Advocacy, Independence, Mastery)
Vincennes University-Jasper Campus
Jasper, IN
Contact: Mande Keusch

Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, IN
Contact: Lisa Graham

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Indianapolis, IN
Contact: Gwen Chesterfield

For more information on the programs listed above, visit the Think College website or contact us at

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