Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 & Comprehensive Transition Programs


The HEOA of 2008 includes provisions that make access to postsecondary education possible for students with intellectual disabilities. The EAGLES program at Auburn is recognized as a comprehensive transition program (CTP) by the U.S. Department of Education. The HEOA of 2008 identifies parameters for establishing CTPs at institutions of higher education.

The EAGLES program became a CTP through an extensive application process. It is the first post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities in Alabama to receive this designation, and joins a select group of other postsecondary institutions with CTPs in the country. 

Universities with recognized CTPs can offer three types of federal student aid to eligible students with intellectual disabilities: (1) Federal Pell grants, (2) Federal work-study, and (3) Federal supplemental education opportunity grants. The CTP status also recognizes that EAGLES has met an advising and curriculum structure and that at least 50% of the program time is with other students without intellectual disabilities. However, Auburn exceeds the latter requirement with approximately 95% of the EAGLES program time spent with students without intellectual disabilities, with the possibility of 100% inclusion. EAGLES is a comprehensive transition program within the College of Education and the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling. Auburn is diverse. Auburn is inclusive.

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