October 2023
Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (MIHEC) logo.

The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration signed an agreement with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) on October 15 to establish a technical assistance center that will create self-sustaining education options across the state for students with intellectual disability who want to earn postsecondary credentials. The Minnesota legislature has also earmarked $750,000 for annual competitive grants to institutions launching these programs.

“This is a key milestone in the effort to move Minnesota forward in expanding inclusive higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disability,” said Mary Hauff, who formed the Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (MIHEC) at the Institute. Hauff will collaborate with OHE to formalize the framework for expanding higher education options in Minnesota, offering guidance and training to colleges and educational agencies on providing inclusive higher education. Funding for the development of the Inclusive Higher Education Technical Assistance Center was secured in the Higher Education Omnibus Bill during the 2023 legislative session. The OHE will oversee the competitive grant process, with a first round of requests for proposals expected in the spring of 2024, with grants awarded before July of 2024.

MIHEC will present an online community of practice event from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on October 17, on “Inclusive Teaching, In Practice and Theory.” Community of practice sessions are for Minnesota college and university faculty and staff interested in inclusive higher education initiatives.