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Community of Inclusive Scholars Program


Program Overview

Program Overview

The Community of Inclusive Scholars Program at Salem State University is a MAICEI Program; Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative. Opening its doors in the Spring of 2017, the Community of Inclusive Scholars Program offers a “college experience” to high school students with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders from partnering school districts. MAICEI students are 18 – 22 years old, are unable to pass the MCAS exams or have passed MCAS but still qualify for special education services, are currently on an IEP, and are enrolled in a partnership district.


Community of Inclusive Scholar students participate in two college courses, in both the Fall and Spring semester. In addition, Inclusive Scholars students will also participate in at least one identified activity or club, internship opportunities either on campus or through their school district, participate in the Gassett Fitness Center, peer tutoring, and the writing center. The ultimate goal of the Community of Inclusive Scholars Program is to prepare students for paid employment through promotion of self-determination, self-advocacy, increased independence, and improvement of social skills.

Application Process

Applications are submitted jointly by the student and partnership district, and reviewed by the Community of Inclusive Scholars Committee for enrollment.

  1. Upon submission of the application, the district will schedule a team meeting with the prospective candidate, their family and team members.
  2. Upon receipt of the application, an observation will be scheduled at the student’s high school
  3. Prospective candidates and their families will participate in a visit to Salem State University to include attendance in a SSU undergraduate course. During the visit, a personal interview will be held by the Community of Inclusive Scholars Committee with the prospective student and their family.

Admissions Criteria

  • Primary disability intellectual or autism spectrum, not behavioral or emotional.
  • Age is 18- 22 upon admission to the program, is their fifth year of high school and has not accepted a traditional high school diploma
  • Currently has an IEP.
  • Has demonstrated they have successfully accessed accommodations and/or other instructional supports in a high school general education content area course.
  • Has basic mathematics understanding and can use a calculator
  • Reading ability is on at least the third grade level
  • Has means of independent communication.
  • Has a satisfactory record of school attendance.
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