Photo Copyright © 2007 Robyn Twomey
Cynthia Johnson and students
The Passport to Success
Students with disabilities

Welcome to ReThink Higher Ed ®

ReThink Higher Ed® is a new approach to education of the unique learner. We provide teachers, parents, and educational innovators comprehensive curriculum and administrative guides designed for high school and college age students challenged with intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities. Our vision is to help successfully launch high school or college students challenged with intellectual and learning disabilities into adulthood.

The Courses and Administrative Guides were originally developed and implemented at a college in Washington State as part of the first accredited degree program in the United States for students challenged with intellectual and learning disabilities.

Please note: Several of the courses are appropriate for students with and without disabilities and could be either noncredit or credit, including Personal Finance, Conversations 1 and 2, Developing and Maintaining Healthy Relations and Handling Conflict, Brain Basics, and others.

The course materials and administrative guides are available individually as downloadable files for a quick and easy purchase process. Throughout our website these products are collectively referred to as the Passport Program for Unique Learners or simply Passport. Our strategy for student success begins with a focus on the whole person in three critical domains: Academics, Social and Life Skills, and Workplace Development.

Academics (Sampling of Core Courses)
  • Essential Reading and Writing: World Literature
  • Learning Strategies
  • Changing Surface of the Earth
  • Math Skills
  • Critical Thinking through Film
Social and Life Skills
Social and Life Skills (Sampling of Core Courses)
  • Conversations
  • Brain Basics
  • Nutrition and Personal Health
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Yoga
  Workplace Development
Workplace Development (Sampling of Core Courses)
  • Problem Solvers in the Workplace
  • Self Advocacy
  • Conversations in the Workplace
  • Computer Applications
  • Field Experiences


Best Practices for Our Student Population

We found that under-prepared studentsí motivation and self-esteem will actually increase by a more challenging curriculum. With an emphasis on experiential learning, the 55 different courses use problem solving, cognitive processing, teamwork, and career skills to help students understand both their genius and their challenges.

The teaching methodology imbeds repetition and short bursts of content delivery followed by carefully guided hands-on experimentation and manipulation of content, ideas and/or tools. We observed the gaps in general knowledge and social skills our students possessed and found the best ways of predicting and addressing them.

We believe students learn at different rates and can reach their full potential when given the opportunity. For information about our targeted student population please see Whom We Serve.

Courses are available for over 50 individual classes and consist of course descriptions, syllabi, content outlines, learning objectives or outcomes, an alternative assessment rubric with accompanying skill sets and performance indicators, and supporting documents. Courses may also include samples of student work and lesson plans.

Administrative Guides provide detailed documentation and guidance, including information and training for faculty and parents, workplace support, grant information, assessment and evaluation information, student examples, application and admission information for the comprehensive Passport Program for Unique Learners.

Consulting Services provide phone, online, and on-site support for educators and parents of students with intellectual and learning challenges in high school programs, private academies, postsecondary programs, and parent-driven educational start-ups. We are also available for consultation regarding implementation of the entire Passport Program for Unique Learners.


Intellectual Disabilities: refers to students with significant learning, cognitive, and other intellectual disabilities whose disability impacts their ability to access a general education curriculum without a strong system of educational supports and services.

Learning Disabilities: refers to various cognitive, neurological, or psychological disorders that impede the ability to learn, especially one that interferes with the ability to learn mathematics or develop language skills.

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." — Eleanor Roosevelt