ACeS Program

Northampton Community College has completed its grant from the United States Department of Education. The Achieving College Success Program (ACeS) examined the post-secondary academic experience of students with disabilities by enhancing their classroom experience through in-depth faculty preparation and curriculum innovation addressing the issues of transition support and Universal Instructional Design.

Universal Design (UD), a concept pioneered by Ron Mace and rooted in the field of architectural design, emphasizes the importance of anticipating the needs of an increasingly diverse public. In educational settings, Universal Instructional Design can be defined as the design of instruction to be usable by all students, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal Instructional Design (UID) takes UD concepts and applies these principles to the design of:

  • Curriculum and assessment
  • Instructional materials
  • Instructional strategies
  • Facilities such as buildings and classrooms

UID considers potential needs of all learners by identifying and eliminating unnecessary barriers to teaching and learning while maintaining academic rigor. Its goal is to maximize the learning of all students by applying UID principles to all learning products and environments. The approach fosters excellence in teaching by making curricula accessible and applicable to diverse learners.

We welcome visitors to view the components of the grant, including information on UID principles and strategies implemented by faculty in their courses, along with professional development seminars focusing on the transition to post-secondary education for students with disabilities.

For additional information about ACeS, please contact Kathi Jo Weinert at or 610.861.5342.