Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Spectrum Support Program (SSP): A transition and support program for students with autism spectrum disorders pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields  

The Spectrum Support Program seeks to demonstrate success for undergraduate students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) entering, succeeding and completing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degree programs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and transitioning to the STEM workforce. Having one of the largest private STEM program portfolios in the country as well as a robust disabilities service program, RIT is uniquely suited to pilot an innovative program designed to support students with ASD. With approximately 42 students who have ASD and are currently enrolled at RIT in STEM programs, this initiative is poised to support an increase in the success rate of such students in persisting through and graduation from college as well as achieving successful placement in STEM professions. This proposal seeks to advance education related to ASD on multiple levels including the impact on undergraduate program participants and that of peer coaches, who are graduate Psychology students preparing to enter the secondary school environment. Additionally, this proposal supports training and education for campus faculty and staff as well as potential employers, community partners, and colleagues at other college campuses. Developing and sharing a successful model of supporting ASD students in STEM programs while providing parallel training for future employers and service providers, will establish a network of support for the long term success of this emerging population in the world of higher education. The proposed project goals follow: 1. To support undergraduate students during the transition into college STEM programs by using case management and peer coaching models. 2. To support undergraduate students in maintaining academic success and persisting toward the achievement of their STEM degree. 3. To support undergraduate students and assist potential employers in allowing for successful transition into the workforce for STEM related employment. 4. To explore potential partnerships with local, regional and national institutions and organizations to support students pursuing STEM careers. These collaborations are expected to result in the development of a proposal for an Alliance for Students with ASD in STEM to the NSF's Research in Disabilities Education program. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder National Science Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $96,618.50
Current Award Period 2009-2011
Project Number 928340
Principal Investigator Boulais, Nicole
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 6: What Does the Future Hold, Particularly for Adults? (Lifespan)
Subcategory N/A
Strategic Plan Objective 6O. Not specific to Question 6 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Rochester Institute of Technology
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Spectrum Support Program (SSP): A transition and support program for students with autism spectrum disorders pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields (External web link)
Web Link 2 Spectrum Support Program (SSP): A transition and support program for students with autism spectrum disorders pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields (External web link)
Web Link 3 No URL available.
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