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19 Best Colleges For Autistic Students

Here’s a roundup of the best colleges/universities for students with autism spectrum disorder.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
November 29, 2022
5
min read

19 Best Autism-Friendly Colleges

According to recent polls, 10-14% of the current college student population is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In light of this, many American universities and colleges have begun providing special support and facilities for these students to help them succeed.

The following are the top 19 colleges that we have found that have the best accommodations for those who are diagnosed with ASD.

best autism-friendly colleges

1. Appalachian State University - Boone, North Carolina

Appalachian State University has a chapter of one of the largest autism advocacy organizations on campus, Autism Speaks Inc. Students with autism who attend AST have access to the following services:

  • Academic and career services
  • Special Events
  • Counseling services
  • Various social networking efforts

2. Bellevue College - Bellevue, Washington

Autism students at Bellevue College can earn different types of degrees, and they have special courses that cater to students with Autism. Students can choose to get an Associate's degree, a Bachelor's degree, or different technical degrees or certifications online or on campus.

3. Beacon College - Leesburg, Florida

Beacon College was founded back in 1989, and it was the first accredited college that was established for students with autism and other learning differences. Some of the degree subjects students can pursue at Beacon College include:

  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Human services
  • Computer information systems

4. Defiance College - Defiance, Ohio

Defiance College is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, and it is classified as a private liberal arts school. It offers the ASD Affinity Program, which is designed to help students with ASD to focus on their academic success. Plus, each dorm room has resident assistants that are specially trained to be able to help and provide proper support and interventions to residents in their dorms.

5. Drexel University - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University offers over 70 different undergraduate degree programs for students to choose from, and they offer their Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP) for students who have ASD. With this program, these students can receive one-on-one coaching and developmental workshops to help students have a voice in self-advocacy.

6. Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, Michigan

Eastern Michigan University is home to one of the country's best support programs for students with ASD, the College Supports Program. This program was designed to help students with the following:

  • Increase the training of staff regarding ASDs
  • Help to improve the coordination of university services
  • Designed to assist EMU students who have ASDs

7. The University of South Florida - Tampa Florida

The University of South Florida has an autism program that is designed to be career-centric, and it helps students with ASD to focus on real-world development by helping with job opportunities and internships.

8. Marshall University - Huntington, West Virginia

Marshall University is home to the West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC), where students with autism can get help with pursuing a life of quality. While working with the center, students get personalized assistance with professional, academic, and personal goals.

9. Kent State University - Kent, Ohio

Kent State University is one of the largest public universities in Ohio, and they provide different programs and incentives for students diagnosed with ASD. Partnering for Achievement and Learning Success (P.A.L.S.) is one of the more popular programs because it provides students with autism a neurotypical "buddy" that can help them to navigate through the college's social scene.

10. Syracuse University - Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University has made great efforts to assist and attract students on the Autism Spectrum to their school. Here are some of the assistance that these students gain access to:

  • Individualized academic advisement
  • Gain access to special seminars and classes
  • One-on-one mentoring

11. Western Kentucky University - Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University is home to the Kelly Autism Program, which is a comprehensive program that offers students on the Autism Spectrum access to the following:

  • Special social activities
  • Tutoring
  • One-on-one academic planning
  • Job coaching

12. Utah State University - Logan, Utah

Utah State University has a highly respected Autism Support Services in Education, Research, and Training Program (ASSERT) that provides various resources like housing accommodations and transitioning services to students who are on the Autism Spectrum.

13. Loras College - Dubuque, Iowa

Loras College provides comprehensive services to students with autism, and they provide various programs that can help these students with succeeding in school and life on their own.

14. Saint Joseph's University - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint Joseph's University is a private Jesuit school, and they offer students with autism assistance through the Kinney Center's ASPIRE program. They provide these students with a wide range of support services starting with their freshman year.

15. Fairleigh Dickinson University - Teaneck, New Jersey

Fairleigh Dickinson University uses the COMPASS program to assist its students with autism in succeeding at their school. They provide various types of therapy and counseling sessions to make sure these students have everything they need to succeed.

16. Texas Tech University - Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University provides ASD students with various daily classes to assist them with strengthening their life, job, and social skills, which is important for those on the Autism Spectrum.

17. Rutgers University - New Brunswick, New Jersey

Rutgers University is home to the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC), which helps to facilitate various accommodations for students with ASD. A few examples of these accommodations include:

  • Arranging peer mentors
  • Arranging single dorm room accomodations
  • Pairing students with mentors for social networking

18. Edinboro University - Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Edinboro University offers students with autism access to the BASIS program, which provides one-on-one coating, peer mentoring, and other helpful assistance with daily living. It can also assist with accommodations for testing, classroom environments, and housing.

19. University of Montana - Missoula, Montana

The University of Montana is a public research university that is home to the Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism Inclusion on Campus or the MOSSAIC Program, which is designed to assist students with autism in their daily lives on campus through various support accommodations and assistance.

How To Choose The Best Autism-Friendly College

When choosing the best autism-friendly college, it is important to remember that everyone has different needs. Therefore, the best choice for one person might not be the best for the next. Make a list of your needs and your interests and then search the different schools to see which one will be the best fit for you.

References

  1. https://www.greatvaluecolleges.net/best-colleges-for-students-with-autism/
  2. https://www.bestvalueschools.org/colleges-for-students-with-autism/
  3. https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/colleges-for-students-autism/
steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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