Toward an Inclusive Definition of College Student Development




Post-secondary; student development; inclusive; college experience


Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Programs (IPSE) have emerged as opportunities for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to experience college life and prepare for independent living and integrated employment. However, to date there is no standard definition for what defines a successful IPSE experience. This manuscript will provide a framework on how programs can conceptualize success for their students, grounded in Student Development Theory and Social Role Valorization. Using this framework as a guide, IPSE stakeholders can ensure the experience is valuable for each participant to develop a unique identity and purpose, while establishing meaningful reciprocal relationships.

Author Biographies

Shailen Singh, Texas State University

Dr. Shailen Singh currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational, Workforce, & Leadership Studies at Texas State with a research focus issues affecting parents of children with disabilities. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Texas A&M-College Station for the Department of Educational Human Resource Development

Dr. Singh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Texas A&M University, a Master Degree in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas, and completed his Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University-College Station. Prior to his time at Texas State, Singh served as the Director of Access and Inclusion at Texas A&M-Central Texas in Killeen, where he was responsible for campus-wide accessibility and diversity issues.

Carly Gilson, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University-College Station, TX

Dr. Carly Blustein Gilson is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Educational Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in special education from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include strengthening employment-related social skills for adolescents and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD); supporting individuals and families through school-to-work transition; and vocational skills and educational team collaborations among special education teachers and paraprofessionals.




How to Cite

Singh, S., & Gilson, C. (2020). Toward an Inclusive Definition of College Student Development. Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education, 2(2).