You can imagine my surprise to see Elmhurst College on the list for Illinois. It's less than 10 miles from us! Upon further examination, I see that Elmhurst's program, called ELSA academy, is referred to as a CTP. Intrigued, I googled it and I'm REALLY glad I did,
What's a CTP? So glad you've asked!
Comprehensive Transition Programs across the country share some commonalities:
offered by a college or career school
approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
designed to support students with intellectual disabilities who want to continue academic, career, and independent living instruction to prepare for gainful employment;
academic advising and a structured curriculum
students enrolled in CTP's are eligible for specific federal financial aid programs
Here's where YOU can find a list: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/intellectual-disabilities
But here's the kicker...
CTP programs require students with intellectual disabilities to participate, for at least half of the program, in:
Regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses with non-disabled students,
Auditing or participating (with non-disabled students) in courses for which the student does not receive regular academic credit,
Enrollment in noncredit-bearing, non-degree courses with non-disabled students, or
Internships or work-based training with non-disabled individuals.
Chloe has proved to me over and over again that inclusion works for her and is vital to her success. As a student that has, throughout her life spent time in different environments, I find that Chloe, needs people to look up to and people to lead and that, in her case, is typically not accomplished when she is the highest functioning participant in a program. I have said at more than one IEP meeting that Chloe, not the world, has the disability and where she finds her place to fit in is HER CHOICE. Chloe has spoken out more than once as we fought for inclusion in both academics and athletics and while some of these situations haven't been easy, as I reflect on what's happened I know in my heart that it's about to pay off.
P.S. So, me being me I've now sent emails to every CTP program I can find!
Click below for a map of ALL the CTP programs in the country: