ACE-IT in College: A Program Profile

ACE-IT in College is an inclusive higher education program that provides students with intellectual and developmental disabilities access to college that they would not have otherwise. Since 2011, the program provides students with equitable, inclusive, and individualized access to higher education and future employment opportunities as students work towards their future career goals. ACE-IT also gives them the individualized support and services needed to access inclusive academics, employment, and campus engagement opportunities. 


The employment rate of people with an intellectual disability is around 19%, and ACE-IT in College has an employment rate of 90%. Additionally, the employment retention rate of graduates that obtain employment is 86% and 100% of students have paid work during college, including during the COVID pandemic. 


Partnership Opportunities


There are numerous ways in which people can partner with ACE-IT. VCU students can work as an education or job coach, and each year, the program hires students to provide one-on-one support to students in the classroom as education coaches and their campus jobs as job coaches. Education coaches attend classes to help students build the necessary skills to succeed academically, including note-taking and class engagement. Outside of class, they help with studying, test preparation, and assignment and group discussion engagement. On the other hand, job coaches attend work with students to provide support in learning and development of job and workplace skills. Peer mentoring is another partnership opportunity for VCU Students, who will help ACE-IT students forge social connections to VCU’s campus. 


VCU staff and community members can open doors to opportunities for ACE-IT students. 

  • Hire ACE-IT students
  • Promote courses as options during advising
  • Donate to scholarships 

. Many students with intellectual disabilities are told they will never attend college and therefore do not save for college. Access to federal student loans are generally not available to this population, and the primary reason students drop out of the program is a lack of resources to pay for their education. If you would like to donate to our scholarship fund to ensure that students that need financial support receive it, visit