services & facilities

Inclusive Education

Inclusive Post Secondary Education

Inclusive post secondary education came to Lakeland College in January 2008. This initiative helps students with developmental disabilities be included in regular programs of study.

Students with developmental disabilities come to college for the same reason that other college students do:
  • to further their education
  • to develop life long friendships
  • to develop career opportunities through practicums
  • to gain independence
  • to create life enriching experiences
How it works
Participating students audit courses so there's flexibility to set a suitable individual learning pace, set individual goals, complete adapted course assignments and exams, complete practicums and also allow time for taking part in campus life.

Staff work closely with both students and instructors, to ensure that the students’ inclusion in the classroom and campus life is successful and is a positive experience for everyone involved.

The initiative runs year-round. Students are encouraged to find work in the summer and receive support from Initiative staff to ensure students experience success.
History of Inclusive Post Secondary Education
Alberta has more inclusive post-secondary initiatives and more experience with inclusive post secondary education than any jurisdiction in the world. Inclusive post secondary education is defined as facilitating the inclusion of students with developmental disabilities in regular programs of study and campus life.

Initiated by families with the support of advocates in 1987, the University of Alberta became the first university to offer inclusive post secondary education. Since then, with the support of Alberta Association for Community Living and the provincially funded Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD),18 post-secondary institutions across the province now offer inclusive educational opportunities to students with developmental disabilities.

In the past 20 years students have taken a variety of programs at colleges and universities across the province. This has included golf operations management, personal trainer, digital arts and media, animal health technology and nursing.
For more information, contact:
If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about this initiative, please call:

Clara Kolybaba
Filling out an Application? 2 Tips
application form filled out for inclusive educationIf you are applying to take a Lakeland College program through the inclusive education initiative, please use these 2 tips when filling out your application form.

Please use the paper application, instead of applying online. They are available at student services at both Lakeland College campuses, or from our apply now page.
  1. You should check that you require services offered to students with disabilities or medical needs. Check yes, then write in inclusive post-secondary education on the line below.
  2. Don't forget to fill in the program you'd like to take.
Read about our students
Kevin Stevenson's passion is to work with animals. He took the VMA program.

They Experienced Live the Learning
Post-secondary inclusion has proved to be a successful experience for two Lakeland students and others at the college.

Student Erin Acton began her studies in the event coordinator program in the fall of 2007. Her long term goal is to be self-employed and to own a business. Jessica Morrell, a student in the animal health technology program, also began in 2007 and wants a career working with animals.

Both Erin and Jessica receive instructional supports from Jill Applegate, post-secondary inclusion coordinator at Lakeland. Working with program chairs and faculty, Applegate supports students to identify learning objectives for labs and assignments and makes modifications so that the students’ course work aligns with their career goals. She also helps facilitate volunteer opportunities for Erin and Jessica so that they develop relationships with others outside of the classroom.

“The cooperation of the program chairs and faculty have made the learning experiences for Erin and Jessica, as well as for other students and myself, very positive,” says Applegate. “They’ve been great to work with.”

Program faculty also note other dynamics that have developed as a result of having Erin and Jessica in their classes.

Dr. Terri Rowat, animal health technology program chair, says her students have been able to develop an appreciation of different learning styles and patience with each other.

Laurie Harris, an instructor in the event coordinator program, adds that her classes have also benefited from being involved with the inclusion project as it has demonstrated that experiences at the college level help to expand opportunities for all students.

In March the Alberta Association for Community Living recognized Lakeland College with an award for its support of post-secondary education and its two students. While the award is greatly appreciated, Applegate emphasizes that the real reward is seeing the students learn new skills that will help them to successfully prepare them for careers in their chosen area.

“Everyone who has been a part of this experience has learned a lot about what it takes to make post-secondary inclusion work. It takes everyone working together,” says Applegate.

Photos -  Above Right: Erin Acton works at the registration table at the So You Think You Can Salsa fundraising event held in February. Left: Dr. Terri Rowat instructs Jessica Morrell about how to position a cat for an x-ray during a radiology lab at the Vermilion campus.
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