Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) Program

The MAICEI program at Fitchburg State starts in the fall of 2024. We will partner with the Fitchburg Public Schools and expand to surrounding districts.
Female student dancing and conducting the band playing at rock the block

The MAICEI program is a grant to support eligible public high school students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-22, to increase their academic and career success by being included in our university community of learners. The term “Concurrent Enrollment” means that participating students are still eligible for special education services, even though they have finished four years of high school.

For a student living in a partner school district to be eligible for MAICEI they must fit the following criteria: 

  • Tier 1: be between the ages of 18-21, have not passed the MCAS, have a severe intellectual disability and are receiving special education services or 
  • Tier 2: be between the ages of 18-22, who have passed the MCAS, have a diagnosis of a severe intellectual disability, and are receiving special education services until 22.

Whether tier 1 or 2, students must have the capacity to attend college level courses, learn to navigate the college campus, ability to adhere to the student code of conduct, and have a person-centered plan that can be improved by the MAICEI program. 

The way in which students will spend their days is very individualized to each specific student. The experiences through the MAICEI program are aimed to provide students with the skills needed to meet their long-term employment goals. The goal is to locate paid employment by the end of a student’s participation in the program. Many different skills are needed to promote these opportunities; this is why at Fitchburg State we break down the skill areas: academic, health/wellness, social/emotional, and employability as we are embracing a holistic approach to increase their overall quality of life.

MAICEI students on campus in Hammond Hall with swag
Students from Fitchburg and Lunenburg public schools visited campus and received some swag from Admissions.

Person-Centered Plan (PCP): The person-centered plan guides the selection of classes along with on campus activities and employment experiences. The person-centered plan helps students express their preferences, strengths, goals, and outcomes in the areas of employment, education, social relationships, living, and leisure. The PCP looks at a person’s whole life while focusing on talents, preferences and dreams. Through the PCP, choices are clarified and organized into steps for the future. Once the steps are outlined, all involved parties can assist in identifying supports and resources (disability and non-disability specific) needed to achieve their goals. A PCP is a form of a transition assessment guided by the student.

Preferences, Strength, Goals: Identified through the PCP regarding education, employment, social, and leisure. Once identified, these areas are used to shape the student’s program plan.

Program Plan: Developed with the student, district liaison, MAICEI coordinator, parent, and education coach if applicable. The plan will identify activities that the student will do while on campus in the areas of academic, health/wellness, social/emotional, and employability. The plan will also be individualized for each student to meet their needs.

  1. Academic Course: We align the courses based on the student’s long-term employment goals. The courses are selected to provide students with skills towards the job. Fitchburg State may not have a class that meets a student’s long-term goal specifically, therefore we develop a list of skills that the students would need to be successful in that occupation and select courses from those. For example, to develop a career in cooking you may need business skills, communication skills, art and design skills so a class might be identified and selected from these departments.
  2. Social-Emotional Health: Activities are provided to increase self-advocacy and self-determination skills. Students in the MAICEI program spend time with college peers throughout their day during all different activities. Peer mentors will spend different amounts of time with our students. 
  3. Health and Wellness: Students are given the option to join the Recreation Center. If they join the gym they can participate in different workout classes, work 1:1 with trainers to develop a routine, or independently work out. 
  4. Employability: Vocational opportunities are identified for students based on interests and strengths. Students will be offered the opportunity to have volunteer jobs, non-paid and paid internships. The goal is for students to obtain paid employment by their last semester in the MAICEI program. 

Students from Fitchburg and Lunenburg Public Schools met with Emily Stark, Director of Disability Services and teachers that they will work with on campus.

MAICEI students with teachers in front of Sanders
MAICEI students with staff Emily Stark, Disability Services

Have questions? Get in touch.