National Leadership Award presented to CTC's Donald Bailey.

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College Transition Connection’s founder honored for his contributions to South Carolina educational opportunities.

Donald Bailey

Donald Bailey

For too many of our young people, there are few viable and meaningful opportunities for continuing education. Students and their parents need more options, and CTC was created to help.

College Transition Connection (CTC) is proud to announce its founding Chairman, Donald Bailey, has been recognized for the tremendous difference his volunteerism has made in his home state of South Carolina and nationally. Bailey was awarded a 2015 National Leadership Award by the State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.

“It is such an honor to be recognized for what started as a personal quest,” Bailey said. “For too many of our young people, there are few viable and meaningful opportunities for continuing education. Students and their parents need more options, and CTC was created to help.”

Bailey’s longtime interest in education, coupled with the desire to see his son, Donald Jr., achieve all he could educationally, prompted the creation of the CTC. Through the nonprofit organization, Bailey fostered partnerships with state agencies and organizations to create postsecondary education opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities in South Carolina. Additionally, he raised substantial private funds and successfully advocated for close to $1 million from the South Carolina General Assembly. With those funds five outstanding postsecondary programs were developed in South Carolina: ClemsonLIFE at Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University LIFE, the College of Charleston REACH, CarolinaLIFE at the University of South Carolina, and Winthrop University’s Think College.

The CTC’s success has served as a model for other states, and Bailey has generously donated his time to families, college and university staff, and organizations in many other states as they develop opportunities, through direct technical assistance and speaking at conferences. His book—LIFE, Learning Is For Everyone—has become a “how to” manual for others, with the proceeds going to scholarships.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Bailey previously was honored for his service to that university and education systems with the 2014 USC Distinguished Alumnae Award. He served on his local high school’s parent-teacher associations in the 1980s and on the Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina from 1990 through 1998. He now serves as Executive Director of the CTC.

A lifelong resident of Charleston, South Carolina, Bailey and his wife, Caroline, are committed to helping South Carolina become a national leader in postsecondary education for anyone with intellectual disabilities. They are the parents of two children and three grandchildren. Their youngest child, Donald Jr., has cognitive learning difficulties.

About College Transition Connection
The College Transition Connection (CTC) works with select colleges and universities in South Carolina to design, create and fund transition and postsecondary opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit collegetransitionconnection.org.

About The State of the Art Conference
The State of the Art Conference is held yearly in Northern Virginia and brings together hundreds of families, policy-makers and program members interested in advancing the field of postsecondary education for young adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit kihd.gmu.edu/policy/conference.

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Jack Burris

Donald Bailey
College Transition Connection (CTC)
since: 05/2011
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