In support of CSD’s mission, the Center collaborates with departments and organizations across the University and State to promote access and awareness and serve as a resource to all members of the community. Following are some of CSD’s ongoing collaborations.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies is an international organization that is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD). At the Storrs Campus, Best Buddies works very closely with the S.T.A.A.R (Students Transitioning Age Appropriate Routes) Program and Region #19 School District to identify buddies for UConn students. The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) has had a staff member serve as the advisor for the UConn Chapter of Best Buddies for the past 15 years.

The UConn chapter has one chapter meeting per month and one fun event, such as holiday parties, prom, crafting, and more!

CSD Contact:
Christine Wenzel, CSD Executive Director

Collaborative on Postsecondary Education and Disability (CPED)

For over 15 years, the Collaborative on Postsecondary Education and Disability (CPED) has been a national leader in promoting access to postsecondary education for students with disabilities. Our work combines research-based evidence and professional training to inform the field and advance postsecondary education opportunities for students. We achieve our mission through graduate coursework, our annual Postsecondary Disability Training Institute, research and model demonstration projects, conference presentations and involvement and leadership in various professional, state, and national organizations.

CT Youth Leadership Project, Inc.

The Connecticut Youth Leadership Program (CTYLP) provides youth and young adults with disabilities with opportunities for self-discovery, the development of self-advocacy, decision-making, and problem-solving skills to maximize their leadership potential.

UConn Department of Psychology

Research is a primary mission of the UConn Psychology Department with programs in:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical
  • Language and Cognition
  • Developmental
  • Ecological Perception and Action
  • Industrial/Organizational
  • Social

Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA)

The focus of the Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA) program is to develop reflective practitioners in student affairs. The courses and experiences are diverse and reflect the best of contemporary student affairs practice. The core of the HESA program is a 44-credit hour curriculum featuring classes taught by student affairs practitioners as well as full-time faculty scholars. Each year, HESA admits a cohort of approximately 16 students into the program. These students complete the core academic classes together over their two years of study. In addition, students have a variety of elective graduate courses that are offered through the Department of Educational Leadership or through another department.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

In order to develop an inclusive community for instruction, research and outreach, the University of Connecticut embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship among our students, faculty and staff. This collegial and vibrant environment promotes and nurtures perspectives that are enabled through differences in culture, experience and values. To achieve this goal, the university emphasizes diversity in the recruitment, retention and advancement of students, faculty and staff.

Students Transitioning Age Appropriate Routes (S.T.A.A.R.) Program

The Center for Students with Disabilities has a unique partnership ith Region #19 School District known as the S.T.A.A.R (Students Transitioning Age Appropriate Routes) Program. The mission of the S.T.A.A.R program is to provide opportunities for 18-21 year old students to continue their learning, refine vocational pursuits, and enhance social relationships in the settings utilized by their college-aged peers. The collaboration with the University creates the possibility for authentic experiences for students to be involved with college students who have a vested interest in working with and having relationships with students with learning disabilities. Outcomes will include knowledge, skills and friendships beneficial to their transition to the adult world.

Practicum Opportunities
For any student interested in working with the S.T.A.A.R Program, there are practicum opportunities available. Working with the S.T.A.A.R program is a great opportunity for students interested in the field of special education with an emphasis on secondary education and transition. The ideal practicum student will be comfortable discussing aspects of adult life and transitions in appropriate and honest ways. The practicum student will work with students with a variety of disabilities on a one-on-one basis in the classroom as well as on community outings and in work experience settings. Practicum students may also be responsible for gathering data on student learning, modifying materials, problem solving and determining best practices for working with students.


The CSD is an information and referral source to all University and community programs and state services. The CSD will refer students based on need to various services. The CSD works as a liaison service to agencies such as the: