Southeastern receives funding for post-secondary inclusive education alliance


Thursday, October 17, 2019 Emma Beckers, left, and Chirstopher Ballard
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

ADVOCATING FOR LA-PIE - Emma Beckers, Southeastern Louisiana University special education major and Lions Connected mentor, left, and Lions Connected student Christopher Ballard advocate for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education at the 2019 Governor’s Office of Disabilities Affair Conference. The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council recently awarded funding to Southeastern to create the Louisiana Post-Secondary Inclusive Education Alliance.

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has been awarded funding to create and grow an alliance of universities and colleges across the state that will provide inclusive education opportunities for students with developmental disabilities such as its Lions Connected program.      Created by Associate Professor of Education and Director of Lions Connected Gerlinde Beckers, Louisiana Post-Secondary Inclusive Education was awarded $40,000 from the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.
     “Southeastern has had successful experience through Lions Connected, our inclusive post-secondary educational program for individuals with disabilities; therefore, applying to create the Post-Secondary Inclusive Education Alliance just seemed natural,” Beckers said.
     “I’m delighted that Southeastern was chosen and continues to be a leader in the post-secondary education of students with disabilities,” said Dean of the College of Education Paula Calderon.
     The purpose of the LA-PIE Alliance is to expand the outcomes and opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities through participation in traditional inclusive post-secondary college experiences at Louisiana universities and colleges. Beckers said LA-PIE will expand opportunities through the establishment of an alliance comprised of institutes of higher education and other appropriate entities associated with implementing or developing inclusive post-secondary education programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.
     “Southeastern will coordinate the alliance through the provision of mentoring and technical assistance, hosting training events, and developing resources designed to build the capacity of inclusive opportunities available at post-secondary educational institutions throughout Louisiana,” she explained.
     For more information on LA-PIE, contact Beckers at

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