What (Institutions of Higher Education) (63%), 11 private

What services and accommodations are currently being provided for college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger Syndrome.Higher education institutions are experiencing an increasing number of college students with autism spectrum diagnoses Students on the autism spectrum have differing needs from students with other disabilities, particularly in the area of non-academic social and emotional supports and it appears that many higher education institutions are not equipped to support these students This study aims to research the accommodations and services that are currently being provided for college students on the autism spectrum and determine the components of successful programs so that higher education Disability Services offices may use this information to improve and expand their support service programsWhat are the hypotheses (from Introduction)? (.5 point)Sample characteristicsDemographics19 public IHEs (Institutions of Higher Education) (63%), 11 private IHEs (37%)28 (93%) of these IHEs offered bachelor degrees and graduate programs, 2 (7%) offered associate degrees22 of the IHEs (73%) reported that their total student enrollment was greater than 10,000 students, with 7 of these IHEs reporting student enrollment greater than 25,00029 of the 30 IHEs indicated that 1% to 18% of the population of students who identified as having a disability reported that they had AS or ASD (median = 5%)Sample size: 30 colleges/universitiesVariables – operationally defined (most likely from Intro or Method) (.5 point)Accommodations and supports – 13 accommodations typically accessed by students with ASD as reported by IHEsSummer Transition Programs – summer transition programs for students with AS and ASD that range from 3-days 6-weeks Additional Supports – programs other than accommodations, support groups, counseling, social activities, and summer transition programs as described by the IHEsReported student outcomes – number of students graduated, length of time taken to complete the degree, perception of student successProcedure: A survey was developed by the author after a literature review of the current research in the area of supports for students with AS or ASD was conducted. The form consisted of 20 questions, many with multiple parts. The survey contained both forced-choice and open ended questions. Based on an internet search for colleges and universities offering specific services for ASD, 45 IHEs’ disability service office were invited to participate in this study. Overall Results: Colleges and universities indicated that support services for students with AS and ASD are greatly needed. Flexible approaches that are individualized based on the student’s unique needs appears to be the most successful program method. Collaborating with all campus departments and the parents is essential. It is also critical to assess the program each year and modify the supports and services based on the data collected. Very few of the IHEs had outcomes data. More than half of the IHEs did not have graduation outcomes data given that they had been providing specialized ASD services for less than 5 years. It was also indicated that students with AS or ASD did not enroll as a cohort and some took breaks from college and then returned, making it difficult to track their progress.Conclusions and Implications: The need to collect data on student retention, graduation, and postgraduate outcomes was voiced by the majority of the IHEs.

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