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Western Michigan University

Special Education and Teaching

Asperger's

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A Formative Evaluation Of A Program Providing Support To College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Kourtney Kay Bakalyar Dec 2016

A Formative Evaluation Of A Program Providing Support To College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Kourtney Kay Bakalyar

Dissertations

Young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are attending institutions of higher education more than ever before (Smith, 2007). All college students with disabilities have the right to accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA; P.L. 110-325); however, these accommodations frequently do not address barriers that prevent students with ASD from successfully completing their academic programs. The Autism Services Center at a public, four-year university provides services to its college students with ASD to address difficulties with communication and social skills, unique emotional and behavior characteristics, insufficient executive function, and difficulties with independent living ...


Psychosocial Development Of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder In Higher Education, Kathleen M. Vanderveen Dec 2013

Psychosocial Development Of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder In Higher Education, Kathleen M. Vanderveen

Dissertations

Students, in general, are not graduating from college in percentages above 60% after five years (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2012). According to the National Council on Disability (NCOD, 2007), more students with disabilities are enrolling in higher education every year; but their graduation rates are declining (Getzel, 2008; NCOD, 2007; Orr & Goodman, 2010; Troiano, Liefeld, & Trachtenberg, 2010). Exploring ways to improve the retention and success of students with disabilities in college, leads to the review of psychosocial student development theory, which has guided student support for many years, but has not been widely applied to students with disabilities.

This qualitative study explored the college experiences of senior students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the meaning they make out their development in three areas of psychosocial growth phases. Through a phenomenological approach, six participants from four different four-year public universities in Michigan described their college experiences, both academically and socially. These three (of seven) “vectors” as Chickering (1969) theorized, are growth phases that most traditional age (18-22) college students eventually pass through (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). They referred to these three vectors as “developing competence,” “managing emotions,” and “moving through autonomy toward interdependence.”

From the interviews, five emergent themes describe the participants‟ experiences in college: a) coming to terms with an autism spectrum diagnosis; b) using the “campus compass” to find purpose; c) being aware of diversity; d) participating in purposeful social interactions; e) being aware of emotional growth. The findings from this study support development in the first two vectors, developing competence and managing emotions, but did not directly support ...