Western Kentucky CTP Approved

Western Kentucky CTP Approved

Western Kentucky University’s application to the US Dept of Ed to establish a CTP has been approved. WKU’s program is the 6th Comprehensive Transition Program that has been approved in the Commonwealth.

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Inclusive Higher Education Timeline

Inclusive Higher Education Timeline

Kentucky has a rich history in its commitment to inclusive spaces in post-secondary education. Over the last twenty years, multiple projects and initiatives have supported students with developmental disabilities as they engage in post-secondary education. The timeline below highlights some of the work that has gone into supporting students with their educational goals.


Postsecondary Opportunities Workgroup
(POW) is launched by families, young adults with intellectual disabilities, and Kentucky organizations.


Postsecondary Inclusion Partnership
PIP begins a three-year grant funded by the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities.


The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute is awarded a five-year $2.1 million federal grant Supported Higher Education Project, SHEP.


A pilot between SHEP and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation provides support services on college campuses around Kentucky.


SHEP staff and students with intellectual disabilities present to the Kentucky Legislative Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.

A group from Murray State University, led by a parent advocate, expresses interest in starting a program on campus.

Representative Carl Rollins attends the POW meeting and hears concerns that SHEP students cannot utilize Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship Program money.


Kentucky’s first U.S. Department of Education approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) program was established at Murray State University.

Kentucky Legislature unanimously passes a bill to allow students with alternate diplomas to access their KEES money.


Bluegrass Community & Technical College Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) program approved.

SHEP, POW, and stakeholders explore expansion and sustainability options.

Spalding University Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) program approved.


Northern Kentucky University Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) program approved.


Partnerships in Employment State Systems Change grant.

Legislative action to increase KEES funding available to students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in Kentucky CTP programs.


Inclusive Higher Education Webinar series.


Kentucky State Budget addresses Supported Higher Education.


Kentucky Supported Higher Education Partnership.


University of Kentucky Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) program approved.

Legislative action expands the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship to include students with ID enrolled in Kentucky CTP programs.


Owensboro Community and Technical College Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) program approved.


Western Kentucky University Comprehensive Transition program approved.

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CTP Program Brief: Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Professionals

CTP Program Brief: Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Professionals

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Kentucky Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Program Brief for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Professionals

As vocational rehabilitation professionals, our job is to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, achieve economic self-sufficiency and independence, and contribute to society. This includes doing all that we can to support the success of eligible consumers with intellectual disabilities enrolled in Kentucky Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs.
Cora McNabb, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Comprehensive Transition & Postsecondary Programs (CTPs)

CTPs were created by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA, 2008). They support students with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) who want to continue academic, career, or technical instruction in higher education to better prepare for competitive integrated employment and independent living. CTPs:

  • utilize person-centered planning to help students identify and explore career goals, which may include paid work and non-paid work-based experiences
  • facilitate the social and academic integration of students on a college campus
  • provide support to navigate all elements of college life, including admissions, coursework, work experiences, and extracurricular activities

CTP Program Eligibility

Students enrolled in an approved CTP must have a documented ID, as defined by the HEOA.

Student Financial Assistance

Student Financial Assistance:

Students with ID enrolled in an approved CTP can access federal financial aid for which they qualify and state financial aid from the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, and College Access Program Grant programs, if eligible. Students and families can contact the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) at (800) 928-8926 or visit kheaa.com for help with the financial aid process.

To learn more about financial assistance for students enrolled in an approved Kentucky CTP, see CTP Brief: Student Financial Assistance.

Higher Education and Improved Employment Outcomes

VR’s mission includes supporting eligible students with ID in obtaining competitive integrated employment and attending inclusive higher education programs such as CTPs.

A national study of over 9,400 transition age, supported employees with ID served by vocational rehabilitation found that individuals who had completed at least some postsecondary education were more likely to be employed, work more hours, earn more per hour, and were employed in a greater range of vocations (Cimera et al., 2018).

Another study found that 64% of students with ID who had attended an inclusive higher education program were employed one year after college exit (Grigal et al., 2019).

Postsecondary education is also associated with increased capacity for growth in independent skills, including increased soft skills and self-determination practice, and with satisfying social lives (Grigal et al., 2021).

What VR Professionals May Wish to Consider

As VR Professionals and stakeholders work with eligible and potentially eligible students with ID, they may wish to consider:

  • Would attending a CTP support the student’s employment goal on the IPE?
  • How can VR and local education agency staff increase collaboration and coordination to support the student’s CTP participation?
  • How can VR professionals support student engagement in vocationally relevant services and activities while attending a CTP, in preparation for competitive integrated employment?
  • What are ways VR professionals can inform students and families about higher education options such as CTP programs?
  • How can VR professionals and CTP staff better coordinate opportunities and services for eligible consumers?

There are six approved CTPs in Kentucky:


Cimera, R., Thoma, C., Whittenburg, H., & Rohl, A. (2018). Is getting a postsecondary education a good investment for supported employees with intellectual disability and taxpayers? Inclusion, 6 (2), 97- 109.

Grigal, M., Hart, D., Papay, C., Smith, F., Domin, D. & Lazo, R. (2019). Year Four Annual Report of the TPSID Model Demonstration Projects (2018–2019). Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion.

Grigal, M., Dukes,L.L., Walker, Z. (2021). Advancing Access to Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability in the United States. Disabilities. 2021; 1(4):438-449.

Last updated 5/19/2023. To view the latest version of this document, visit www.kshep.hdiuky.org/resources

For more information, please contact:

Johnny W. Collett
Deputy Director
(859) 257-2304


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Inclusive Higher Education featured on The State of HDI Podcast

The State of HDI is a podcast exploring initiatives and projects of the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI).  

In Episode 1, Johnny Collett (HDI Deputy Director) and Erin Fitzgerald (CTP Coordinator) discuss inclusive higher education programs that support students with education and career goals. 

Southeast Postsecondary Education Alliance

Promoting access to quality inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a shared focus on collaboration through program development, resources, research, and public policy in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina & beyond!

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Vocational Rehabilitation Resources

Vocational Rehabilitation Resources

View resources relating to Vocational Rehabilitation.