Tag: Inclusion

College Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities featuring the TigerLIFE program at the University of Memphis

by Carjamin Scott on July 25, 2018, at 8:05 p.m. CST

Students with intellectual disabilities are able to attend college. Since 2010, five colleges in Tennessee have offered inclusive post-secondary education opportunities for high school graduates interested in furthering their education.

According to the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance website, “students with intellectual disabilities attending a comprehensive training program (CTP), are able to use federal financial aid to help pay the cost of attendance.”

CTPs are degree, certificate, or non-degree programs for students with intellectual disabilities. All of TN’s programs are CTPs, but only one program, TigerLIFE at the University of Memphis, is a designated community rehabilitation provider (CRP).

CRPs focus on “practices that reflect individual integrated employment as a priority outcome,” as stated on the Think Works website.

TigerLife at the University of Memphis by Maurice “Moe” Williams

Maurice “Moe” Williams, photo from University of Memphis website

TigerLIFE (Learning, Independence, Fostering Employment & Education) at the University of Memphis is “a 60-hour program culminating in a completion award in Career and Community Studies. Participation in the Tiger LIFE program provides students with an option for continuing their education beyond high school to increase employment opportunities,” as indicated on the TigerLIFE website.

As noted in the Daily Helmsman, “Moe Williams, associate director of the University of Memphis Institute on Disability and founder of the TigerLIFE program, developed the program as part of his Master’s thesis. Williams was working at the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau as the director of education programs while working on his Master’s degree.”

“We (TigerLIFE) are unique because we are the only employment-based training institute in the state of TN,” stated Williams.

TigerLIFE also has these three unique features.

  1. TigerLIFE has the highest enrollment in the state, 75-100 students.
  2. The tuition at TigerLIFE is the least expensive in the state, $4,950.00 per semester.
  3. The TigerLIFE program is administered alongside the University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID), a team of disability researchers.

Williams mentioned, “We operate differently and work collaboratively with a behavioral staff who monitors our curriculum and the day to day activities of our students.”

The University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID)

The University of Memphis Institute on Disability (UMID) as stated on the website has “formed alliances with government, private, academic and legal entities to research and develop programs which encourage people with disabilities to pursue higher education toward graduation and employment.”

TigerLIFE collaborates with the UMID, particularly for behavioral intervention and program analysis. UMID sets the curriculum for students, assists with career readiness, and facilitates job placement.

Tennessee’s Inclusive Post-Secondary Institutions

All of TN’s inclusive programs have different features and benefits, such as on-campus housing, which TigerLIFE does not provide. Below is a list of the other inclusive post-secondary institutions in the Tennessee.

  • Next Steps at Vanderbilt University
  • FUTURE at University of TN Knoxville
  • IDEAL at Lipscomb University
  • EDGE at Union University

Additional Research on this Topic Pending

Carjamin is a candidate for the Doctorate in Education emphasizing Learning Organizations and Strategic Change. Her anticipated graduation date is December 2018.

To culminate her degree, she will co-author the capstone group project titled Parents’ Perceptions of TN Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

The issue the research will present is the parent’s perception of the impact of IPSE programs for their student with ID in the state of TN. This research is intended to help with undertaking continued analyses and assist our client, Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt University and the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance with determining what success means for parents with children enrolled in IPSE programs.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

Briana Perry, State Co-Director at Healthy and Free Tennessee Shares Information about Partnering with College Students.

by Carjamin Scott on July 11, 2018, at 4:57 p.m. CST

Briana Perry is the State Co-Director for Healthy and Free Tennessee. Perry earned a Bachelor of Arts, in Sociology with Honors and a Master of Education in Learning Diversity and Urban Studies from Vanderbilt University.

She has an interest in the well being of Black mothers, ending gender disparity, educating communities in need of sexual and reproductive justice, and partnering with college students.

A native of Memphis, she is making a name for herself as a social justice reformer and inclusive strategist in West Tennessee.

Her career started as a graduate student employee, educating the Vanderbilt community about gender equity and racial justice issues, while working for the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center at Vanderbilt .

Perry is member of the 2018 New Leaders Council Nashville Chapter, she was a recipient of the Outstanding Professional Promise for M.Ed. in Service to Diverse Populations Award from the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College, and a 2017 Nominee for 120 Under Forty.

She has served on many steering committees for organizations such as the Nashville Feminist Collective, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program, and the East Nashville Hope Exchange.


Perry believes that colleges should lead in educating students and the community about healthy sexual relationships.

Perry mentioned, “not all states, such as TN, provide adequate sex education (medically accurate and evidence-based) in K-12 schools that is comprehensive and includes consent and healthy relationships.”

This is why Healthy and Free Tennessee is necessary to raise awareness and promote sexual health and reproductive justice.

“Students then enter college lacking this vital information and therefore are not adequately equipped to make informed decisions about their bodies,” said Perry.

Continue reading “Briana Perry, State Co-Director at Healthy and Free Tennessee Shares Information about Partnering with College Students.”

Meet Rev. Shantell Hinton, the first African American Chaplain at Vanderbilt University

by Carjamin Scott on June 23, 2018, at 10:56 p.m. CST

Just one year ago, Rev. Shantell Hinton, became the African American to lead in the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life (OUCRL) at Vanderbilt University. Prior to obtaining the role of Assistant University Chaplain, Assistant Director of Religious Life, she earned a master of divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. While enrolled, Hinton was awarded the Kelly Miller Smith Institute for Black Church Studies Certificate and the Florence Conwell Prize.

Hinton has a background in engineering. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt and a master’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in controls and robotics from Colorado State University. Her career experience includes working as a process control engineer and as a Bible teacher.

Hinton mentioned, “I think God called me to ministry because I had a desire to ask questions and learn how to apply them in church. I started with youth ministry and worked hard to make church relevant for our youth. Later, it evolved into a desire to make the church more relevant for this day and age – to help folks understand God and our faith in different ways.”

Hinton’s religious programmming has provided students with a safe space to explore their faith, an opportunity to celebrate their identities, and develop relationships between student groups who otherwise may not have interacted with each other.

Under her leadership, OUCRL has executed inclusive religious programming particularly for Vanderbilt’s growing students of color population. These programs have provided students with a safe space to explore their faith, an opportunity to celebrate their identity, develop relationships between student groups who otherwise may not have interacted with each other, and have an impactful dialogue about religion and spirituality.

Continue reading “Meet Rev. Shantell Hinton, the first African American Chaplain at Vanderbilt University”