Skip to main content

HEELS UP is an inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) program. HEELS UP offers students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities an immersive and inclusive college opportunity. Our program will be offered during UNC’s Summer Session (SS II) for 6 eligible students. HEELS UP students enroll in one Summer Session II course at UNC-Chapel Hill based on their career and/or personal interests. HEELS UP students also participate in social/recreational opportunities on campus alongside other UNC students. IPSE programs are associated with improved adult life outcomes in areas such as self-determination/self-advocacy, community participation, independent living, and employment. Students are supported to pursue their goals for adult life through an individualized, person-centered plan and 1:1 coaching. A certificate of completion will be awarded for the Summer 2024 program.

Program Details

Dates: June 17 – July 31, 2024 during Summer Session II. Orientation will be held the week of June 17, 2024.

Format of Delivery: Audited classes may be in-person or online depending on the course selected, with in-person coaching, goal planning and social opportunities on campus. HEELS UP also has a residential option for 2024.

Eligibility: Must be 18-26 years old with documentation indicating intellectual and/or developmental disability. Applicants should be seeking a well-rounded college experience that results in a certificate of completion (not a degree).

Staffing: Small group coaching and peer supports will be provided based on individual support needs.



Applications for the Summer 2024 program are live and can be found HERE.

Applications are due online, February 20, at 11:59PM. 


Our Purpose

To develop inclusive post-secondary education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that benefits from the premier teaching, research, and service conducted throughout the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

Our Goals

  • To support faculty, staff, and student knowledge surrounding disability as part of the campus culture, ultimately advancing diversity and equity in higher education 
  • To support the HEELS UP student in designing and implementing their own person-centered plan, based on personal strengths, aspirations, and interests 
  • To support the HEELS UP students to gain skills and access to achieve their self-determined life

Contact Brianne Tomaszewski, or Anna Ward, for more information.