ICEI FAQs

Students studying

Please explore frequently asked questions about the BSU ICEI program below.

Academics

Q: Are ICEI students able to use their IEPs in college?
A: No, there are no IEPs in college. Colleges provide a different level of support, and it is the student’s responsibility to ask for help and advocate for access to reasonable academic accommodations. Students must review their disability documentation with an ICEI Coordinator in order to request an accommodations letter. After receiving the letter, it is then the students’ responsibility (along with education coach support, if needed) to meet with their professor to discuss the accommodations that are in their letters.

Q: Will ICEI students receive support in their college classes?
A: Yes, education coaches attend classes with ICEI students to provide individualized supports as needed. Ed coaches also provide academic support outside of the classroom either during free time while on campus or back at the school district.

Q: Do ICEI students have to have education coaches with them in their college classes?
A: Yes, education coaches must be present in classes with ICEI students. However, the goal is for ed coaches to fade support over time and ultimately become as invisible as possible.

Q: What if the assignments/tests are too difficult for the ICEI student?
A: Because ICEI students take BSU courses for audit, there is flexibility when it comes to requesting modifications to coursework. Education coach and student teams should meet with professors when they agree an adaptation to an assignment/test would be beneficial.

Q: How do ICEI students ask for accommodations in college?
A: ICEI students may request a letter of accommodation to present to their professors at the start of each semester. It is the students’ responsibility to set up an appointment with their professor to go over the accommodations they may be requesting throughout the semester.

Q: Will ICEI students receive a grade for the course?
A: No, ICEI students do not receive a letter grade when they audit BSU courses. However, they receive an “AU” on their official transcript, indicating they have completed a college-level course. This transcript is added to their career portfolios which they are presented with after completing a successful year in the program.

Career Guidance

Q: Are the internships paid?
A: The ICEI internships are unpaid, however, students gain valuable work experience throughout the year while tracking growth in employability skills using the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan.

Q: Are the internships off-campus or on-campus?
A: The ICEI program offers both on and off-campus internship locations, each providing a unique set of learning opportunities.

Q: Will there be any support at the internship?
A: Yes, as part of the partnership with the internship locations, an education coach will be on-site to assist the student in all areas of the internship experience. District education coaches provide on-site support and guidance to their students, acting as job coaches, at the internship locations.

Q: Do the students rotate between several internship locations?
A: The students have a choice to continue at the same internship or switch internship locations at the end of each semester. Students are encouraged to remain at the same internship location for the year so as to build on vocational skills and potentially earn a letter of reference from the internship supervisor.

Q: Who selects the student’s internship?
A: The student selects the internship location along with the day and time they will be interning. This takes place during the first two weeks of the semester during career check-in meetings.

Q: Does the ICEI program guarantee employment after completion of the program?
A: No, the ICEI program does not guarantee job placement after completion of the program. ICEI students do, however, receive the credential of having successfully completed the BSU ICEI program which is an important addition to their resumes. At our End of Year Celebration, students are presented with a complete career portfolio, which includes; resume, cover letter, letters of reference, BSU ICEI Certificate of Completion and an official Bridgewater State University transcript.

Social Life

Q: How are ICEI students supported with navigating the BSU campus community?
A: Every ICEI student is assigned a Peer Mentor, who is a current, full-time undergraduate student at BSU. Peer mentors help ICEI students assimilate to college life by introducing them to friends, exploring campus, and encouraging involvement in BSU clubs and activities. By spending time with BSU peer mentors, ICEI students develop friendships and feel socially connected to BSU student life.

Q: What do ICEI students do during peer mentor meetings?
A: Each student and mentor pair decide what they want to do during their meeting time. This could mean having lunch, exploring the nature trails on campus, going to a campus activity or event, baking cookies in the dorm, going to the gym, etc. Peer mentors are encouraged to push ICEI students out of their comfort zone by exploring what BSU has to offer!

Q: What can ICEI students get involved in?
A: ICEI students can enjoy everything BSU has to offer, day or night, by getting involved in campus clubs, activities, events, and organizations. All students receive a Connect Card, which is the official BSU identification card and ticket to social activities/events! The Connect Card is a multi-purpose card that can be used for things like:

  • BSU events and activities – i.e. sporting events, theater shows, homecoming, etc.
  • Entrance to Fitness Center
  • As a debit card—funds may be used at dining areas, vending machines, laundry machines, public copiers, The Bookstore, Dunkin Donuts (on campus), Starbucks (on campus), off-campus with participating merchants, etc.
  • Library privileges
  • As a meal ticket

Q: Do Peer Mentors receive any training?
A: Yes, all peer mentors receive in depth training from the ICEI staff before they begin working with ICEI students. Topics include strategies to facilitate inclusion, disability etiquette and awareness, self-determination, self-advocacy, natural supports, dignity of risk, mandated reporting, and more.

Residence Life

Q: What are some of the main eligibility requirements for an ICEI residence life student?
A: Eligible ICEI residence life students must meet a separate set of criteria, including but not limited to: successful completion of one year in the ICEI day program, strong daily living skills, the ability to function independently, independently recognize/react to emergency situations and display strong self-advocacy skills.

Q: Do ICEI Residence Life students receive 24/7 support?
A: No. Residence Life students are expected to possess the core skills necessary to live independently with reasonable supports. ICEI Residence Life students are supported by the ICEI Residence Life Coordinator, Residence Life Peer Mentors, an ICEI Resident Assistant, and BSU’s Area Coordinator/Resident Director.

Q: How many classes can ICEI Residence Life students take?
A: Currently, the district fee covers one course and the residence life grant covers one course. Students are able to take additional courses, however, the district would be responsible for covering the extra cost.

Q: What if an ICEI Residence Life student is having issues with their roommate?
A: The ICEI program defers to the policies and procedures outlined by BSU Residence Life and Housing. Any violations of policies will follow the process as executed by Residence Life.

Q: What is the cost for ICEI Residence Life students to live on campus?
A: At this time, the ICEI Residence Life Program is fully grant funded. However, this is expected to decrease over time as the program is expected to become self-sustained.

District Partners

Q: How do districts partner with the BSU ICEI program?
A: Districts should contact the ICEI Director, Mary Price. Mary can be reached at (508) 531-2917, or mprice@bridgew.edu.

Q: Is there a fee for the program?
A: Yes, the current fee that will cover all programming costs, books and materials is $7,800 per student per year.

Q: What are the districts’ responsibilities in the partnership?
A: The district partners are responsible for student transportation to and from campus as well as providing an Education Coach (paraprofessional) to support the students academically on campus. The ratio between Education Coach and student should not exceed 1:2.

Q: Are there any other district expectations?
A: Yes, the ICEI staff members host four partnership meetings per year (two/semester). A district representative is required to attend each meeting. Additional district expectations are outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding which is reviewed and signed before each academic year.

Q: How many days a week are students typically on campus?
A: Students are on campus at least three days per week. Students are required to be on campus every Friday for various program activities. If students have a Tuesday/Thursday class, they are on campus Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If students have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday class they are on campus Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Additionally, students are expected to attend according to the BSU academic calendar, including during scheduled district vacation weeks.

Families

Q: Where can we find the BSU ICEI application?
A: The BSU ICEI applications are sent out to district partners in December. The application is not available as a link. Interested students/families should contact their special education teacher or high school transition specialist to discuss applying to the BSU ICEI program.

Q: How will my child learn to navigate campus?
A: Accepted students, a family member and a district representative are required to attend an orientation session in late August prior to the start of classes in September. During the orientation activities a campus tour is given that will give the students an opportunity to learn where various buildings and dining halls are located. Most students navigate the campus independently by mid-fall.

Q: Will my child feel accepted on campus?
A: Yes. The ICEI program staff, peer mentors, faculty and BSU students are here to support our ICEI students on campus. ICEI students are immediately immersed in the campus community by attending classes, participating in campus activities and working at their internship.

Q: Will my child make friends?
A: Yes, each student has a peer mentor. The peer mentors are traditionally aged BSU undergrad students that introduce ICEI students to social activities on campus. Friendships naturally occur as ICEI students participate in campus activities and spend time with their peer mentors.

Q: Will my child have a chance to be independent on campus without being with their education coach?
A: Yes, when ICEI students spend time with their peer mentors, that time is spent independently. The ICEI students become more independent each day as they learn to navigate the campus, meet friends and attend classes in various buildings.

Q: Will my child “click” with his/her peer mentor?
A: Although there is no “guarantee” your child will “click” with their peer mentor, most often they do. The peer mentors fill out an extensive application and the ICEI staff members carefully choose mentors that have an interest in this population of students. Most peer mentors have a special education, social work, or psychology background and have a desire to work with this population in their careers after college.

Q: Will my child be safe on campus?
A: Yes. The ICEI staff members hold weekly check-ins with students and education coaches. These check-ins are spent going over the students’ person-centered plan and are also designed to give the students the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have during their time on campus.

Q: Will class be too hard for my child?
A: In most instances, no. The students are responsible for choosing their own class. They are asked to choose three classes (first, second and third) as their first choice is not always available. The education coach, along with the ICEI staff members make every effort to try and align the students course choice with their ultimate career goal. If the student finds the class difficult, there are plans in place to assist the students academically.

Q: Will my child receive training/support at his/her internship site?
A: Yes, each student is accompanied by their education coach during their internships. The education coach is there to lend support to the student. The support typically fades as the students becomes familiar with their internship duties and responsibilities.

Q: What are the biggest differences between high school and college for my student involved in the ICEI program?
A: Students self-advocate. Parents do not have access to student records without the student’s written consent. College professors expect students to read, save and consult the course syllabus whereas in high school teachers often take time to remind students of assignments, etc. There is more freedom on a college campus; students are independent and in charge of their time. They are required to get to their class on time, they need to manage their time on campus between social and academic activities. Students are basically in charge of their life on campus.