Quality through Universal
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.
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.
Specific project objectives included:
- The establishment of a collaborative working relationship between UNC
and Aims to support the academic success of all students.
- 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.
- 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
- The distribution of training materials to the 37 institutions that comprise
the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities.
- The improvement of services to students with disabilities on both UNC
and Aims campuses and, ultimately, on all campuses in the Consortium.
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.