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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 pilot program will be replicated during UNC’s Summer Session (SS II) in a hybrid format for 2-4 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. A certificate of completion will be awarded for the Summer 2022 program.

Programs such as this one are growing across the country, making college an option for people of all abilities. For more information, visit Think College

Program Details

Dates:  June 20, 2022-July 26, 2022 during Summer Session II. Orientation (HEELS Weekend Away) will be held June 3-5, 2022. 

Format of Delivery: Audited online coursework with in-person social opportunities on campus. HEELS UP is currently non-residential (students do not live on campus). 

Apply: Application can be found HERE

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.

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 Jennifer Diliberto, jdil@email.unc.edu or Anna Ward, anna.ward@cidd.unc.edu for more information 

OR Call (919) 445-6571