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Mission

Educational Quality through Universal Instruction Principles

EQUIP Project

The University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College worked together to bring Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) into classrooms.  This project provided faculty with the tools and support necessary to create instruction consistent with the principles of UDI enhancing the quality of education for all students.

Overview

The University of Northern Colorado ("UNC"), in partnership with Aims Community College ("Aims"), received federal support to implement a model demonstration project that provides technical assistance and professional development to faculty, staff, and administrators in order to assure that all students at either institution receive a high quality postsecondary education. Working together we designed and implemented innovative, effective and efficient teaching methods and other strategies that:
  • Promoted the use of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) in classrooms and online at the University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College and the 37 institutions that comprise the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities.
  • Introduce educators to successful UDI techniques.
  • Demonstrate UDI teaching tools.
  • Explain the research results from students and faculty.
The UNC-Aims partnership was an efficient model emanating from the two institutions' proximity in rural Greeley, Colorado, and previous collaborative efforts. Many students who receive an associate's degree from Aims' go on to pursue a baccalaureate degree from UNC. Working together held the promise and the potential of shared expertise, increased enrollment of students at both institutions, and an improved climate for students with disabilities during their entire postsecondary experience, regardless of how far they pursue higher education.

Objectives

Specific project objectives included:
  1. The establishment of a collaborative working relationship between UNC and Aims to support the academic success of all students.
  2. The development, distribution, and evaluation of training materials for faculty on how to design universal instruction to teach all students, using principles of universal design.
  3. The creation of a research database including best-practices in the provision of educational services to post secondary students, with particular attention to services for students who (a) are deaf and hard-of-hearing (b) are blind and visually impaired (c) have significant disabilities; and (d) have psychiatric disabilities; and (e) have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  4. The distribution of training materials to the 37 institutions that comprise the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities.
  5. The improvement of services to students with disabilities on both UNC and Aims campuses and, ultimately, on all campuses in the Consortium.

History

The Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education program provides grants to postsecondary institutions to develop innovative demonstration projects for all students. The purpose of the project is to provide professional development, technical assistance, support and tools to faculty and administrators.


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