Institutional Initiatives

Find A Program That Fits

There are numerous supports out there for college students on the spectrum. It can be confusing to decide what is right for you and what programs fit your needs. Through research into autism support programs at higher education institutions in the US, we have compiled this list to inform students, parents, and educators about what is available to help students find the program that best fits their needs.


Adelphi University
twice weekly meetings with academic coaching and learning strategist
• optional peer mentoring

• social skills and support meetings

• monthly outings

access to a vocational coach and center for career development
Mitch Nagler (Director):
1 South Ave Garden City, NY 11530-070 USA

Bridges to Adelphi

Austin Peay State University
• tutoring provided by Academic Support Center

• 3 hours of mandatory study time a week

• the program requires a one credit hour course where the curriculum varies by cohort

performance coaches encourage getting involved
faculty mentors help students plan for their careers
Dr. Gorgan (Coordinator):
Clarksville TN 37044 USA

Full Spectrum Learning

California State University - East Bay

• academic coaches

• help developing university Education Plans, which are like IEPs

• study groups

facilitates social engagement within the group and at the university scale
CLP staff offer wellness support
Project Impact workshops on:

• time management

• personal development

• personal finance

Bryan Fauth (Coordinator):
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94542, USA

College Link Program

Dean College
• individualized coaching

• smaller class sizes

• specialized advising

• weekly seminar

99 Main St, Franklin, MA 02038

Arch Learning Community

Drexel University

promotes academic excellence
peer-mediated community promotes social integration
values self-advocacy and self-determination
value independence
developmental feedback
Gerard D. Hoefling (Director):
3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Drexel Autism Support Program

Eastern Michigan University

• help registering, picking, and changing classes

• facilitated communication with professors

• academic mentors

• work with CSP staff to get appropriate accommodations

• within group socials

• help getting involved in socials events at school

help with medication, nutrition, fitness
• help developing skills like laundry and cleaning

• teachs self-advocacy
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197

College Supports Program

Edinboro University

• improves study and time management skills

• helps develop academic goals

• individual assistance within academics

• improves communication skills

• facilitates interaction with other students, and university faculty and staff

• support from peer advisors

eases the transition process to college then to independence
Lisa Laird (Learning Disabilities Coordinator):
219 Meadville Street Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444, USA

Boro Autism Support Initiative for Success

George Mason University
• social events

• peer mentors

skill building classes and groups
$6,600 per year
Chris Willaims:
George Mason University. 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Mason Autism Support Initiative

Harper College
specialized advising
• peer mentoring

• social skills work

Prospective data was collected on students with ASD enrolling in Project TAP. Thirty-four first year students with ASD volunteered to participate in this research. Sixteen (75% Caucasian) students were enrolled in the TAP program which provides evidence-based peer and disability support. The remaining ASD students (n=18, 89% Caucasian) were enrolled as students with disabilities, but did not participate in the program. All subjects completed the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) as the primary measure of social and emotional adjustment to college. Information regarding the students’ attrition, GPA, and course completion were also analyzed. Results showed that ASD students in the Project TAP program (GPA=3.42, SD=1.14) demonstrated significantly higher GPA than non-Project TAP ASD students (GPA=2.50, SD=0.58; t=2.85, p=0.025). In addition, students in the Project TAP program were significantly less likely to be on academic probation than their non-Project TAP ASD counterparts (n=34] =6.11, p=0.013). No group differences were found between levels of academic, social, personal, emotional, or attachment scales from the SACQ at the beginning of the study. Project TAP students showed average adjustment to primary measures of SACQ at the beginning and end of the study. When compared to other ASD students, other students with disabilities, and general education students, our conclusions from the past year indicate that participation in Project TAP by ASD students resulted in:

• Significantly higher overall GPA,

• Reduced academic probation, and

• Lower attrition rates

• Completed and Accepted into Harper College for Fall 2016

• An Intake on file with the Access and Disabilities Office

• A Psychological evaluation showing an Autism Spectrum diagnosis or the most recent IEP or 504 plan with autism diagnosis

• ACT scores or Placement Scores

• Transcript from High School; must have 2.75 out of 4.0 GPA

• Parent Supplement

• Answered essay questions
Access and Disability Services 1200 W. Algonquin Road Palatine, IL 60067-7398

Transition Autism Program

Indiana Univesity of Pennsylvania
• a required one credit hour course

• academic coaching

• supervised study sessions

a peer mentor for the first two years to facilitate the social aspects of college life
a faculty mentor for the last two years will help students with career development
Dr. Becky Knickelbein (Co-Coordinator):
1175 Maple Street Indiana, PA 15705-1080, USA

Labyrinth Center

Kent State University
Autism Connections Kent is a student organization focused on autism as diversity not a disability
the program is student run, so whether it focuses on self advocacy or not, the students are advocating for themselves
800 E. Summit St., Kent, OH 44240

Autism Connections Kent

La Salles University
orientation and transition planning
peer mentoring and socialization development
customized support and competence building
autism, or related behaviors
Dr. Carole A. Patrylo (Director of External Relations):
1900 West Olney Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19141

PASSPORT to Success

Manhattanville College
one-on-one meetings cover academics
• peer mentors help the students get involved on campus

• one-on-one meetings cover social skills

one-on-one meetings cover self advocacy skills
one-on-one meetings cover symptom and stress management
• career planning with Center for Career Development

• one-on-one meetings cover independence

2900 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577, USA

Pathways and Connections

Mercyhurst University
• weekly meetings with academic counselors

• individualized course planning

• assistive technology

• provides access to peer and graduate tutors, and notetakers

• help getting testing accommodations

• collaboration with faculty for special learning needs

• priority registration

• priority housing

• social skills training

• peer mentoring

• optional meal gatherings

• group events and outings

• collaboration with faculty

• referrals to counseling center

• facilitation of relationships with psychiatrists and Autism specialists

• vocational skills development

• job shadowing

• assistance in finding internships and other vocational opportunities

• access to community and national services for people with Autism

Brad McGarry (Director):
501 E. 38th St. Erie, PA 16546 USA

Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM)

Nova Southern University
individual accommodations regularly reviewed including a 2 hour daily study hall
help planning social activities to meet social goals
weekly-hour long psycho-educational groups
telephone lines for emergencies
• trained RAs

• assistance with dorm cleaning and hygiene reminders

• career mentoring

• interview practice

• on the job training

• resume coaching

Susan Kabot (Executive Director, The Autism Institute):
1573 Campus Delivery 320 Occupational Therapy Building Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1573, USA

Access Plus Support Programs

Purchase University
• there are regular individual meetings with the Program Coordinator to set goals and pursue them

• there is a strong emphasis on developing academic skills

• students are referred to the Learning and Advising centers when necessary

• social skills support group

• peer mentor program

“Students are taught the necessary skills and are encouraged to advocate for themselves.”
• career planning with a social worker

• can be referred to Career Development when necessary
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577


Rutgers University
• assistance with defining academic goals and strategies to meet those goals

• referrals & follow-up with academic and support services

• help managing academic coursework

• trained peer mentors

• social events

• help with involvement

referrals for psychotherapy or counseling when requested
• individualized orientation and campus tours

• assistance in accessing campus resources

• planning and preparation for employment

New Jersey USA

Autism Spectrum – College Supports Program

St. Joseph's University
• academic support

• liaisons with faculty

• social skills training

• intermediary with residence life

crisis intervention and prevention
• communicates with residence life staff

• teaches time management skills

• independent living skills

$6,000 per year
Colleen Finnegan (Assistant Director of Program Support):
5600 City Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA


Tarrant County College
• collaboration to determine and request accommodations

• mentoring

• help with student involvement

• social skills groups

• individual and small group mentoring

• teaches functional independence skills

• collaboration with RAs

Terry Aaron (Director for Community & Industry Education Services):
Tarrant County Texas USA

Autism Spectrum Disorder Program

University of Alabama
• facilitates communication with instructors

• academic sessions

weekly sessions on social issues
• counseling services

• consultations with psychiatrists about medications

representative on call for emergencies
• contact with residence life staff

• job skills training
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

ASD College Transition and Support Program – UA-ACTS

University of Connecticut
Strategy instructors work with students on

• study skills

• time management

• reading and writing skills

• setting academic goals

• strategy instructors work with students on:

• social skills

• networking with faculty and other students

the program strives to help students build self determination
strategy instructors work with students on:

• stress management

• health and wellness

career preparation
$3600 for 3 hours/week/14 weeks $1800 for 1 hour/week/14 weeks
Christine Wenzel (Associate Director):
Storrs, CT 06269

Beyond Access

University of Tennessee Chattanooga
credited classes – four year long classes about social and career skills

academic/life coaching – weekly sessions with a coach about academic and social skills

study sessions – at least four hours at study sessions a week

Aspergirls lunch group
peer and faculty mentoring with a peer mentor for the first 2 years of college and a faculty mentor for the second two
$2,500 per semester
Michele Rigler (Director):
615 McCallie Ave Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA


Utah Valley University
academic supports available through the Office of Student Services and Disabilities
• group sessions offer support and a forum to discuss relevant issues

• skill development sessions look at social skills

• Adventures with D-CAP help student connect with other students not on the spectrum

skill development sessions cover advocacy and communication
• there is counseling available through the counseling center

• skill development sessions cover stress management

group sessions cover:

• college life

• career development

independent living skill development sessions cover:

• independent living

• problem solving

Laurie Bowen (Director):
800 West University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058


Western Kentucky University
• private study rooms

• study tables

• four meetings a week with KAP staff

• weekly mentoring

• group socials

• assistance with job exploration

• job and social skills training

• job coaching

• functional independence training

“The cost to be a part of the Residential program is $3,000.00 per semester, which is paid to the Kelly Autism Program. This does not include tuition or housing fees, which are paid to Western Kentucky University.”
1906 College Heights Blvd. Bowling Green, KY 42101 USA

Kelly Autism Program

Ancilla College
individual accommodations regularly reviewed including a 2 hour daily study hall
help planning social activities to meet social goals
weekly-hour long psycho-educational groups
telephone lines for emergencies
• trained RAs

• assistance with dorm cleaning and hygiene reminders

• career mentoring

• interview practice

• on the job training

• resume coaching

Susan Kabot (Executive Director, The Autism Institute):
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-779 USA

The Autism Program at Ancilla College

Bellevue College
• executive functioning help in studying

• appointment trackers

• plan for long-term tasks for class

• encouragement to join clubs, to work in groups, and to make friends

• weekly meetings with peer mentors

• quarterly parent meetings

• facilitated communication with instructors

• campus awareness training

teaches self advocacy skills like

• knowing how to ask for help for specific needs

• self -regulation with change

• problem solving

• achieving goals

• emotional regulation

campus awareness and training
career preparation
Sara Gardner (Program Director/Instructor):
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6406, USA

Autism Spectrum Navigators

Colorado State University
• helps set academic goals

• increases academic effectiveness

• teaches and strengthens social skills

• provides community

promotes self-advocacy
• improves stress management skills

• teaches strategies to cope with sensory processing

• help with setting life goals

• connections with other resources on campus

• improves life balance

1573 Campus Delivery 320 Occupational Therapy Building Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1573, USA

Opportunities for Postsecondary Success

Defiance College
• students are enrolled in 12-13 hours their first semester which is modified based on achievements

• advisors are trained to work with students w/ ASD

• peer mentors and peer tutors

• students meet with the Director of Student Academic Support Services and Student Support Coordinator

• they review the services of the year in the spring to decide what should be done for the fall

• peer mentors

• help getting involved

• social skills training sessions

training sessions on:

• living with a roommate

• budgeting and banking

• scheduling

• meal planning and shopping

• laundry

• public transportation

• hygiene and appearance

• time management

• on campus living with trained RAs

Brad Harsha (Director of Admissions):
701 N. Clinton St. Defiance, Ohio 43512, USA

ASD Affinity Program

Eastern Illinois University
• study tables

• specialized campus tours for the student’s specific schedule

• social skills groups for the classroom

• social events through the program

peer mentors teach self advocacy
physical fitness programs
• residential support

• options for single rooms

• early move in date

• vocational skills training

• daily skills training

diagnosis required
Charleston, IL 61920, USA

Students with Autism Transitional Education Program (STEP)

Eastern University
help with:

• academic planning

• learning strategies

• classroom etiquette training

• communication skills training

• coping strategies for sensory issues

• individual and small group counseling for social skills

• peer mentors

work with students and residence staff about executive functioning skills
Dr. Sharron Thompson(CSP Coordinator):
1300 Eagle Road St. Davids, PA, USA

The College Success Program for Students Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Fairleigh Dickenson University
weekly two hour sessions of individualized, hands-on academic support
weekly group and individual counseling sessions
Jessica Dalrymple (coordinator): 201-692-2645, ext. 413
Morris County, New Jersey, USA

Metropolitan Campus COMPASS Program

Grand Valley State University
• sessions that provide info on how to be academically successful

• monthly problem solving meetings

• advising from Disability Support Resources staff

• trained peer mentors live with students in on campus housing

• mentors help facilitate transition to college

• mentors provide daily social support

• mentors help students get connected around campus

Peer mentors undergo emergency training
diagnosis and documentation required
1 Campus Drive Allendale, MI 49401 USA

Campus Links

Howard Community College
complete academic assessments that will assist with the determination of appropriate accommodations

• improves academic preparedness for college

• provides information about college admission and services

• instruction about accommodation and assistive technology

• academic assessments

• assistance in job placement

• help getting workplace accommodations

Dr. Linda Schnapp (Associate Director):
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, Maryland 21044, USA

Project Access

Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
• “Career and Personal Development focuses on professional development, independent living, and health and wellness. “

• “Transitions Course which focuses on self-advocacy, communication skills, and technology skills including assistive technology”

peer mentors
part of the coursework
part of the coursework
student housing with the program
regular tuition rates:

• Financial Cost – regular tuition rates

• Who funds the programs- currently supported by both the university and a grant from a local organization

Suzanna Yuhasz(Program Coordinator):
2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805


Kirkwood Community College
Strategies for:

• assignment completion

• test preparedness

• time management

• social skills training

• encouragement to participate in social events

assistance with accessing campus and community services
a place and person to go to when difficult situations arise on campus
Complete the acceptance process at Kirkwood and register for at least two classes. Provide recent documentation of an autism spectrum diagnosis. Additional assessments may be required (i.e. Vineland, Woodcock Johnson, IQ). Complete an application for ADA accommodations with the Learning Services department. Meet with the ADA case manager to receive academic assistance. Make arrangements for housing and transportation.
Barbara Mussman (Disability Services Manager):
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW | Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404, USA

Focused Skill Training Program

Loras College
• weekly meetings with learning center coach

• bimonthly mentoring

• weekly study tables

• career prep

• job shadowing

• career fairs

• internships

• resume and cover letter counseling

optional 5 day transition program in the summer prior to orientation
Lynn Gallagher (Director of Disability Services):
1450 Alta Vista St, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA

Autism Resource for Career and Higher Education (ARCH)

Marsall University
• teaches organization skills

• helps with getting accommodations

• teaches learning strategies

• provides note taking and test prep

• helps with registration

• liaises with faculty and administration

• assistance with dorm life

• help learning social skills and getting involved

residence life services
$4,500. $1,200 for summer. $500 for the discovery group.
summer, fall and spring
Becca Hansen (Coordinator):
Huntington, West Virginia, USA

The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nicholls State University
• peer mentors attend class with students and help with assignments

• “audit two college courses each semester”

• academic coaching

• social skills seminars

• peer mentors

• campus activities

job training through internships
• Student has been accepted to Nicholls through the regular admissions process

• Age 18-28

• Student has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) as indicated on a current (within three years) psychological evaluation

• Personal motivation for success

• Personal accountability

• Openness to receive support

• Ability to maintain personal safety

Dr. Mary Breaud (Bridge Program Advisor):
906 East 1st St. Thibodaux, Louisiana 70301

Bridge to Independence; Degree Program

Pace University
Rochester Institute of Technology
• seminar courses

• pre-orientation program (Gearing Up for Success)

group socials
case management
• weekly peer coaching

• executive functioning support

Laurie Ackles (Director):
Rochester, NY 14623-560 USA

Spectrum Support Program

Seattle Central College
• small classes and small cohort size

• tutoring services

• weekly coaching sessions

• monthly meeting with SAIL classmates

• College 101 helps manage academic coursework

• encouragement to get involved in student life

• individualized student meetings

increases self-advocacy skills
• improves time management and organization skills

• help exploring job interest

Alison McCormick (Program Director):
1701 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122 USA

SAILS Program

Taft Community College
• communication classes

• community integration program

• dorm living

• emphasizes personal responsibility

• instruction on informed decision making

Classes on:

• safety

• transportation

• personal care

• meal preparation

Classes on:

• money management

• shopping

• housekeeping

• use of appliances

22 weeks long
Victoria Waugh (Intake Specialist):
29 Cougar Court Taft, California 93268 USA

The Transition to Independent Living Program

Texas Tech University
• learning specialists help students make plans and identify goals

• liases with Student Disability Services

• teaches organization and time management

• Project CASE serves as a point person for students with disabilities

• addresses social norms and friendship

• improves social skills with role-playing and scripts

encourages self-advocacy in everyday life
• connects students to internships

• addresses hygiene and other personal topics

• helps set career goals

DeAnn Lechtenberger, Ph.D. (Project Director):
2500 Broadway Lubbock,Texas 79409 USA

Project Case

University of Arkansas
• help with schedule

• facilitated communication with professors

• academic coaches

• staff work with Center for Educational Access to help students receive appropriate accommodations

• staff also work with tutoring services

• special skills classes

• help joining clubs and doing social things

• develop self-advocacy skills

• help with career skills

help with career skills
This program is intended for individuals who have the intellectual, academic and organizational capabilities to succeed as a full-time matriculated student, but require the additional social support necessary to be fully successful
Aleza Greene, Ph.D. (Clinical Assistant Professor Director, Autism Support Program):
Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

Autism Support Program

University of South Carolina
• CarolinaLIFE course with smaller classes

• 3 hour study lab

• Dd

• D

• Person-centered career planning

• Specialized classes on professional skills

• Support in securing part-time employment experiences

• Job training via job coach

• On campus living options

Dr. Anthony Plotner (Program Director):


University of West Florida
1:1 support and guidance offered by the Student Disability Resource Center include academic support
1:1 support and guidance offered by the Student Disability Resource Center includes social and community involvement
1:1 support and guidance offered by the Student Disability Resource Center includes transition and life skills, as well as career participation
11000 University Pkwy Pensacola, FL 32514, USA

Argos for Autism

West Chester University
academic supports available through the Office of Student Services and Disabilities
• group sessions offer support and a forum to discuss relevant issues

• skill development sessions look at social skills

• adventures with D-CAP help student connect with other students not on the spectrum

skill development sessions cover advocacy and communication
• there is counseling available through the counseling center

• skill development sessions cover stress management

group sessions cover:

• college life

• career development

• independent living skill development sessions cover

• independent living

• problem solving

Cherie Fishbaugh (Director of Autism Services):
700 south High St West Chester, PA 19383, USA

Dub-C Autism Program 

Wright State University
• works with scheduling

• teaches study and organization skills

Autism Spectrum Support Group with bi weekly to talk about academic and life issues
the program works with students on self advocacy
Pricing by term and services provided — Year 1 $500 • Average of 5 hours/week coaching • 1 individualized needs assessment • 1 technology consultation/term — Year 2 $200 • 2 hours/week coaching • 1 vocational consultation/term — Year 3 $200 • 2 hours/week coaching • Vocational & technology consultations as needed — Year 4 $200 • 1 hour/week coaching • 1 hour/week vocational support”
four year program
Heather Rando and Dr. Erendira Lopez-Garcia (Rando: RASE coordinator): and
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy. Dayton, OH 45435 USA

RASE Transition Coach Program and Autism Spectrum Support Group