Assembly Bill 447 – Authorizes The California State University, And Requests The University Of California, To Establish And Maintain Inclusive College Programs For Students With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Dec 06, 2023

AB 447 requires the California State University, and requests the University of California, to develop or expand college programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at four-year public postsecondary educational institutions.  The allocated funds may be used to expand or create new programs at campuses that don’t have them.  Funds may also be used for:

  1. Administrative salaries, including a program director at a campus with an inclusive pilot program and other administrative staff, including academic coordinators, employment and internship coordinators, social inclusion coordinators, and residential coordinators.
  2. Additional program staff, including instructors, peer mentors, residential support staff, and administrative assistants.
  3. Training for higher education faculty in evidence-based best practices.
  4. Augmentation of existing assistive technologies and other academic support services offered by campus disability programs and resource centers.
  5. Scholarships for student tuition, fees, and living expenses.
  6. Additional student supports including counseling, residential needs, mentor services, and transportation services.
  7. Outreach, including internet website design, disseminating information to high school transition programs, local educational agencies, special education local plan areas, and college and career centers, and advertising placements and campaigns, including the cost of printing any materials.
  8.  Data collection and dissemination.

The bill also establishes the criteria that must be met by the inclusive programs.  Specifically, an inclusive program must:

  1.  Serve students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are at least 18 years of age, even if the students are not taking courses for credit or may not be seeking a traditional degree.
  2. Provide students with a person-centered planning process and the opportunity to pursue an educational credential, including, but not limited to, a degree, certificate, or nondegree credential issued by the institution.
  3. Provide inclusive academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills, and integrated work experiences that develop career skills that can lead to gainful employment.
  4. Provide individual support and services for academic and social inclusion in academic courses, extracurricular activities, housing, and other aspects of campus life.
  5. Establish strategies to recruit and support students from historically underserved communities.

To ensure student eligibility for financial aid, AB 447 requires the inclusive college programs comply with the requirements for, and must apply for, federal status as a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.

(AB 447 adds Section 66031 to the Education Code.)

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