10 Tips: Improving College Outcomes for Autistic STEM Students

Looking for the top ten tips for improving college outcomes for autistic students? Here you go! Editorial Board Members Arianne Garcia, John Caldora, and Sara Sanders Gardner put together these tips for students; families, educators, and counselors; and institutions more broadly. Based on their (postponed, but stay tuned!) March 10, 2020 SXSW EDU talk, they’ve distilled evidence-based, key advice found throughout STS into 10 clear actions. Autistic STEM students, and all autistic college students, can attain, and deserve, better outcomes. Read on for their insight, and download the pdf at the end of the post.

10 Clear Actions for improving college outcomes for autistic students

Learn about your rights and how to advocate for them
Know yourself: how your disability affects you, your executive functioning strengths, and other strengths and barriers
Use your college resources: ADA accommodations, advisers, social clubs and activities, workforce training, tutoring, office hours, and more
Support Systems: Parents, Educators, Counselors
Learn and use equitable practices
Use Collaborative Problem SolvingTM to include student in finding solutions and determining what they want and need
Understand and respect your students’ rights as a college student, and, step in when appropriate
Train faculty and staff in equitable practices and establish programs to increase success for marginalized student populations
Support accessible materials and practices from departments and faculty, including Plain Language and Universal Design
Support staff to establish programs that go beyond support to develop neurodivergent students in areas of career, self-advocacy, executive functioning, identity development, social involvement, and more
Promote interdependence rather than independence as a life skill. Everyone is stronger when we rely on each other and use our strengths to support each other.

To download a pdf of these tips, click here: Top 10 Tips for Improving College Outcomes: Autistic STEM Students

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