Regis University offers new academic post-secondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities, including Down syndrome

The university is the first private faith-based institution to offer such an opportunity in the state of Colorado, and the first Jesuit program in the country


This fall, Regis University is launching a new academic program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including Down syndrome. The GLOBAL Inclusive College Certificate (GLOBAL Inclusive Program) is an inclusive higher education program that provides a collegiate experience for young students with IDD. The GLOBAL Inclusive Program will prepare these students for employment and independent living with the overarching goal of thriving in adulthood.

As the only Jesuit Catholic IDD program in the country, the GLOBAL Inclusive Program fosters the inherent dignity and independence of all students. The certificate program is open to students of any or no faith tradition, and is made possible by the support of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

“We want to continue Regis University’s legacy of being mission oriented and inclusive to all people. Providing a collegiate experience for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will give these students a chance to reach their fullest potential,” said Karen Riley, Provost of Regis University.

This program is in the first and only inclusive program at a private university in Colorado. The program’s first year includes a seminar that focuses on basic college and life skills, and incorporates Religious Studies, Philosophy, and integrative courses that are the distinguishing features of Regis’s Jesuit Catholic core curriculum.

The Program Director, Dr. Jeanine Coleman, was previously employed with the Teaching and Learning Sciences department at the University of Denver, where she earned her doctorate through the Child, Family and School Psychology program. She has served as a teacher, advocate, and interventionist for children and youth with disabilities and their families across the state of Colorado for the last 30 years.

Following the Jesuit principle of cura personalis (care for the whole person), students receive wrap-around community support, comprised of specially designed and integrated courses, peer mentoring, academic success coaching, career service transition services and a dedicated residential life experience for those who choose to live on campus.

“My work over the years has signaled that students with an intellectual and developmental disability have an incredible opportunity to grow, and to make positive contributions to our society,” said Riley. “The GLOBAL Inclusive Program will emphasize personal growth along with work and career exploration. Our job as a university is to facilitate the development of our students to prepare them to live lives of purpose. My goal is to ensure this program serves as an exemplar for other Jesuit colleges and universities.”

Some of the core requirements of the GLOBAL Inclusive Program include:

  • Students to have a documented intellectual or developmental disability
  • A current psychoeducational evaluation must be uploaded with the student’s application as documentation of a student's disability, academic level, and social skills.
  • Students must be 18 years old by August 1 of the academic year in which they are applying.
  • Students must have a high school diploma or certificate of completion upon graduation from high school or transition program.

Overview of the GLOBAL Inclusive Program’s academics:

  • Students can start with a low intensity program and commute to Regis' Northwest Denver campus to take a few classes or;
  • Students can start or transition into a more intensive program where they live and take courses on campus.
  • Students complete 12 to 30 credit hours using a combination of modifications and accommodations.

Students will participate in campus events, activities, clubs, and organizations. Peer Mentors will help students get connected across all areas of college life. Upon successful completion, students are awarded a Credential of Completion at the University’s annual commencement ceremonies. Qualified and motivated students can continue in a bachelor’s degree program at Regis.

“We’re excited to see Regis University become one of a very small number of faith-based programs nationally – and the first Jesuit institution – to implement a program that serves young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This commitment to serve these individuals is a wonderful opportunity to enhance human dignity, especially for a group often excluded,” said Fr. Steve Katsouros, S.J., President and CEO of the Come To Believe Network.

To apply and find more information about the GLOBAL Inclusive Program at Regis University, visit:

Learn More About the GLOBAL Inclusive Program



About Regis University

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University, one of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, has three campus locations in the Denver metro area and extensive online program offerings with more than 6,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit