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Removing Access Barriers for Autistic College Students
Removing Access Barriers
for Autistic College Students

Sara Gardner, Program Manager, Autism Spectrum Navigators

Susan Gjolmesli, Director, Disability Resource Center

Bellevue College, Washington State, U.S.A.

Navigators Susan Gjolmesli, Director, Disability Resource Center Bellevue College, Washington State, U.S.A. a project of
Navigators Susan Gjolmesli, Director, Disability Resource Center Bellevue College, Washington State, U.S.A. a project of

a project of

Navigators Susan Gjolmesli, Director, Disability Resource Center Bellevue College, Washington State, U.S.A. a project of
Research Shows  Youths with autism spectrum disorders (ages 19-23) are less likely than those

Research Shows

Youths with autism spectrum disorders

(ages 19-23) are less likely than those with other disabilities to be employed or

enrolled in college

Students with disabilities lack adequate self- advocacy skills needed for success in the postsecondary education setting

Employment rate rises with family income

rates

Our Experiences  Without additional access services, college students with ASDs complete fewer classes, and

Our Experiences

Without additional access services, college

students with ASDs complete fewer classes, and drop out of college at a higher rate

College students with ASDs typically do not seek

out campus services or additional support from instructors

Even with an extraordinarily low cost program,

some families cannot access it for financial reasons

What Parents Want  Campus awareness about Autism  Support for:  Communicating with peers

What Parents Want

Campus awareness about Autism Support for:

Communicating with peers

Mentoring

Orientation & Transitioning

Trained Specialists

Parental Involvement

What Students Want  Connection with other students with ASDs  Advocacy with instructors 

What Students Want

Connection with other students with ASDs

Advocacy with instructors

Instructors who are educated about ASDs

Clearly organized assignments and syllabi

Clear communication

Organizational support

Before the pilot – what we observed
Before the pilot – what we observed
Before the pilot – what we observed
Share your experiences & questions:  This may be different based on where you live!

Share your experiences & questions:

This may be different based on where you live! Socio-economic background, ethnicity, …

Academic ability Physical ability Interests, aspirations

Classroom access needs and more

Share your experiences & questions:  Different for each  Environment specific  Attitudinal barriers?

Share your experiences & questions:

Different for

each

Environment specific Attitudinal barriers?

Similarities? Physical barriers?

Other barriers?

Pilot Year

2010-2011(26 students)

Services Group (13 students)

100% retention

Maintained a 3.0 GPA for three quarters Passed 85% of attempted classes with a C- or better

Control Group (13 students)

61% retention

GPA dropped each quarter: 2.52; 2.44; 2.10

Passed 67% of attempted classes with a C- or better

(13 students) 61% retention GPA dropped each quarter: 2.52; 2.44; 2.10 Passed 67% of attempted classes
(13 students) 61% retention GPA dropped each quarter: 2.52; 2.44; 2.10 Passed 67% of attempted classes
(13 students) 61% retention GPA dropped each quarter: 2.52; 2.44; 2.10 Passed 67% of attempted classes
(13 students) 61% retention GPA dropped each quarter: 2.52; 2.44; 2.10 Passed 67% of attempted classes
2011-2012 (18 students) 94% retention 3.04 GPA Passed 87% of attempted classes with a C-

2011-2012 (18 students)

94% retention

3.04 GPA

Passed 87% of attempted classes with a C- or

better

2012 -2013 (46 students)

96% retention

3.26 GPA

Passed 86% of attempted classes with a C- or

better

2013 -2014
2013 -2014

Fall 2013 (76 students)

96% retention 3.24 GPA Passed 88% of attempted classes with a C- or better

Winter 2014

(64 students 1 grad, 8 retained- not in ASN, 3 dropped out)

97% retention

3.12 GPA

Passed 79% of attempted classes with a C- or better

1 grad, 8 retained- not in ASN, 3 dropped out) 97% retention 3.12 GPA Passed 79%
1 grad, 8 retained- not in ASN, 3 dropped out) 97% retention 3.12 GPA Passed 79%
1 grad, 8 retained- not in ASN, 3 dropped out) 97% retention 3.12 GPA Passed 79%
1 grad, 8 retained- not in ASN, 3 dropped out) 97% retention 3.12 GPA Passed 79%
Our mission is to provide access services for autistic students that lead to successful academic

Our mission is to provide access services for autistic students that lead to successful

academic outcomes while providing

educational opportunities that increase self- knowledge in the areas of executive

functioning, self-regulation, social interaction,

self-advocacy and career preparation; and to actively promote a campus wide environment of inclusion and understanding of students, faculty and staff with neurological differences.

a campus wide environment of inclusion and understanding of students, faculty and staff with neurological differences.
a campus wide environment of inclusion and understanding of students, faculty and staff with neurological differences.
Program Areas of Focus: 1. Self-Advocacy 2. Executive Functioning 3. Self Regulation 4. Social Interaction

Program Areas of Focus:

1. Self-Advocacy

2. Executive Functioning

3. Self Regulation

4. Social Interaction

Program Areas of Focus: 1. Self-Advocacy 2. Executive Functioning 3. Self Regulation 4. Social Interaction
Program Areas of Focus: 1. Self-Advocacy 2. Executive Functioning 3. Self Regulation 4. Social Interaction
Program Areas of Focus: 1. Self-Advocacy 2. Executive Functioning 3. Self Regulation 4. Social Interaction
Program Areas of Focus: 1. Self-Advocacy 2. Executive Functioning 3. Self Regulation 4. Social Interaction
Four components: 1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction 3. Parent Training & Support 4. Faculty &

Four components:

1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction

3. Parent Training & Support

4. Faculty & Campus Training & Support

1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction 3. Parent Training & Support 4. Faculty & Campus Training &
1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction 3. Parent Training & Support 4. Faculty & Campus Training &
1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction 3. Parent Training & Support 4. Faculty & Campus Training &
1. Peer Mentoring 2. Instruction 3. Parent Training & Support 4. Faculty & Campus Training &
 Structured around student-identified needs  Student initiated check-ins with faculty  Standardized format

Structured around student-identified needs

Student initiated check-ins with faculty

Standardized format ensures:

skills acquisition

academic progress monitoring program compliance ease of record keeping

Marco-Polo Check-In

weekly agreed-upon objective

monitoring  program compliance  ease of record keeping  Marco-Polo Check-In  weekly agreed-upon objective
monitoring  program compliance  ease of record keeping  Marco-Polo Check-In  weekly agreed-upon objective
monitoring  program compliance  ease of record keeping  Marco-Polo Check-In  weekly agreed-upon objective
monitoring  program compliance  ease of record keeping  Marco-Polo Check-In  weekly agreed-upon objective
ASN students take a series of credit classes as a cohort, in addition to classes

ASN students take a series of credit classes as a cohort, in addition to classes for their chosen degree path. They are simply students at the college who receive supports.

First Year

Skills for Navigating College & Career Executive Functioning in the Workplace Stress Management

Second Year

Career Exploration

Self-Advocacy

Occupational Wellness Internship

Third Year

Interpersonal Communications

Tech Writing & Soft Skills for Bus.

Internship Third Year Interpersonal Communications Tech Writing & Soft Skills for Bus. Video: Using Canvas to

Video: Using Canvas to connect

Parents need:  Reassurance that their student is in good hands  Training for how

Parents need:

Reassurance that their student is in good hands Training for how to best support their student

Networking with other parents

Focus on Interdependence, Collaborative Problem Solving, Learned Optimism and Self-Efficacy

with other parents  Focus on Interdependence, Collaborative Problem Solving, Learned Optimism and Self-Efficacy
with other parents  Focus on Interdependence, Collaborative Problem Solving, Learned Optimism and Self-Efficacy
with other parents  Focus on Interdependence, Collaborative Problem Solving, Learned Optimism and Self-Efficacy
with other parents  Focus on Interdependence, Collaborative Problem Solving, Learned Optimism and Self-Efficacy
 Regular Faculty training  Individual communication with N.A.’s  Faculty section on program website

Regular Faculty training Individual communication with N.A.’s Faculty section on program website Consultation with program manager

 Individual communication with N.A.’s  Faculty section on program website  Consultation with program manager
 Individual communication with N.A.’s  Faculty section on program website  Consultation with program manager
 Individual communication with N.A.’s  Faculty section on program website  Consultation with program manager
 Individual communication with N.A.’s  Faculty section on program website  Consultation with program manager
Postsecondary Educational Aspirations of High- Functioning Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Parents:

Postsecondary Educational Aspirations of High- Functioning Adolescents With Autism Spectrum

Disorders and Their Parents:

Collaborative Efforts to Improve Access to Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities:

Report to the Legislature Pursuant to Substitute

Senate Bill 5180 (Washington Student Achievement Council)

Disabilities: Report to the Legislature Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5180 (Washington Student Achievement Council)
Disabilities: Report to the Legislature Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5180 (Washington Student Achievement Council)
Disabilities: Report to the Legislature Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5180 (Washington Student Achievement Council)
Disabilities: Report to the Legislature Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5180 (Washington Student Achievement Council)
Susan Gjolmesli, Director, Disability Resource Center: susan.gjolmesli@bellevuecollege.edu 425.564.2392 Sara Gardner,

Susan Gjolmesli, Director,

Disability Resource Center:

425.564.2392

Sara Gardner, Program Manager,

Autism Spectrum Navigators:

425.564.2172

Sara Gardner, Program Manager, Autism S p ectrum Navi g ators: sara.gardner@bellevuecollege.edu 425.564.2172
Sara Gardner, Program Manager, Autism S p ectrum Navi g ators: sara.gardner@bellevuecollege.edu 425.564.2172

Website:

Website: www.autismnow.org Information & Referral Call Center: 1-855-828-8476 Next Webinar: Saturday, June 21, 2014,

Information & Referral Call Center:

1-855-828-8476

Next Webinar:

Saturday, June 21, 2014, 1:00-2:00 PM, Eastern Time Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Overview in Spanish

PowerPoint/Recording:

Email Phuong (pnguyen@autismnow.org ) to request materials!