Application Information


We are excited about your interest in the Clark Inclusive Scholars Program (CISP) at BGSU Firelands! The program provides an inclusive two-year college experience for young adults with intellectual disability. Supporting BGSU’s commitment to create a campus environment of inclusivity where everyone can thrive, students will access authentic learning experiences through participation in college classes, internships, and campus activities. 

We use a holistic application review process to assemble a diverse class of incoming students each year who we think will flourish at BGSU Firelands. A system of individualized supports is put in place to promote each student’s success.

Application Process and Deadlines

Application Due   April 1, 2020  
SOAR New Student Orientation August 2020  
Fall Semester
August 31, 2020  


The Clark Inclusive Scholars Program is intended for motivated applicants with an intellectual disability who are unable to benefit from enrollment in a traditional academic program at BGSU but are interested in continuing to develop skills to live and work independently. Applicants who have other diagnoses (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome) in addition to a diagnosis of intellectual disability are also encouraged to apply. The program especially welcomes applications from individuals who meet both the eligibility criteria and preferred qualifications below.

Application Materials

  1. Meet the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) definition of intellectual disability.
  2. Are between the ages of 18 and 26.
  3. Have a high school diploma.
  4. Were formerly eligible to receive special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  5. Have the capacity to follow campus rules and act appropriately in campus and community settings.
  6. Have the capacity to navigate campus with minimal support following a period of training.
  7. Can be unsupervised on campus for a minimum of one and a half hours.

Preference will be given to applicants who:

  1. Express a strong personal desire to attend college.
  2. Are excited to become better prepared for the world of work and a future career.
  3. Demonstrate both the need and a desire for greater independence.
  4. Can communicate reliably with others and exhibit socially responsible behavior on campus.
  5. Had a good attendance and disciplinary record in secondary school.

All enrolled students must:

  1. Provide their own transportation to and from campus
  2. Have their own cell phone to aid in maintaining contact with Clark Program staff

Selection Process

The following application materials must be submitted by July 12, 2019 in order to ensure full consideration:

  1. Clark Inclusive Scholar Program Application 
  2. Documentation of intellectual disability
  3. Documentation must demonstrate both that the applicant has an intellectual disability  as defined by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (aaidd) and that the applicant was formerly eligible to receive special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). A school record, such as an IEP, that includes both pieces of information would satisfy this requirement. If the school record does not specify that the applicant has an intellectual disability, additional documentation may include (a) an evaluation and diagnosis of an intellectual disability from a psychologist or other qualified professional, or (b) a record from a government agency (e.g., Social Security Administration, vocational rehabilitation) that identifies the intellectual disability
  4. Most recent IEP from last year of high school
  5. Transcript of high school coursework and transcripts from any college or postsecondary training program attended
  6. Two Letters of Reference
  7. Applications must include letters of reference from two non-family members who have known the applicant for at least one year. Include at least one reference from an educator (e.g., high school teacher, transition specialist). The second reference can be from an employer, coach, friend, neighbor, or any person who has a personal or professional relationship with the applicant. Please utilize the Reference Letter Form  to complete this step. 

Application Process and Deadlines

Applications to the Clark Inclusive Scholars Program can be directed to Kyle Closen, director of Clark Inclusive Scholars program:

Mail: Clark Inclusive Scholars Program
One University Drive
Huron, OH 44839


CISP staff are available to answer questions and review documentation prior to application. To request assistance, please contact Kyle Closen, CISP Program Director, at 419-372-0613 or 419-433-5560. Campus visits and tours can be scheduled by appointment.

Selection Process

A holistic review process will be used to assemble a diverse class of incoming students for fall 2019 who have the potential for success in the Clark Inclusive Scholar Program at BGSU Firelands. Due to space limitations, it is unlikely we will be unable to admit all applicants who meet eligibility criteria. The selection process will proceed in four steps:

  1. Applicants will be notified of whether they have been selected for an on-campus interview by email or phone. 
  2. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in an on-campus interview with their parent(s)/guardian(s).
  3. Students will be notified regarding acceptance into the program by email by August 16, 2019.  BGSU Firelands anticipates a cohort of six in the fall 2019 Clark Inclusive Scholars Program.  
  4. CISP staff will provide guidance to admitted students regarding completion of the University’s online application.