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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 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 2023 program.

Program Details

Dates: June 26 – August 1, 2023 during Summer Session II. Orientation will be held the week of June 20, 2023.

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 is currently non-residential (students do not live on campus), but a residential option is being explored for 2023.

Apply: Applications for the Summer 2023 program will open the week of 1/18/23 and can be opened linked HERE. Applications are due online, February 20, at 11:59PM. 

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 Brianne Tomaszewski, or Anna Ward, for more information.