Kelly Autism Program’s “Circle of Support” at Western Kentucky University

Students who are admitted to Western Kentucky via its normal admission process, but who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, are eligible to apply for the KAP Circle of Support. They also must meet other criteria to qualify, including scoring 20 or higher on the ACT, a score that puts a student in the top half of ACT results.

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Utah State program links students to good jobs

Aggies Elevated is a two-year program at Utah State University that is designed to serve students with intellectual disabilities well – not merely by providing opportunities for learning, but also by helping students land competitive, “real-world” employment after they graduate. The staff-intensive Aggies Elevated program typically serves about 15 students at a time. As of a few weeks after the 2019 class graduated, 93 percent of its graduates had found jobs.

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‘Special ed goes to college’? Not at Millersville

The goal of the Integrated Studies program at Millersville University is to fully merge its students into college life. The 25 students on the university’s southeastern Pennsylvania campus live with roommates who aren’t part of the program. No classes or social events are designed exclusively for them. They join clubs on campus, but they do not constitute their own club. Because of their developmental or intellectual disabilities, they need to work longer and harder than typical students to learn and understand. But college life, with all its pleasures, challenges, and opportunities, is now within their reach.

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Western Kentucky serves students on the spectrum

Western Kentucky University’s Circle of Support surrounds high-functioning students on the autism spectrum. Within the Circle—which is a feature of the university’s Kelly Autism Program (KAP)—services are robust: everything from single-room housing to frequent attendance at required “study table” sessions. The sessions are staffed by KAP employees who tutor students on academics while also advising them on time management, social skills, and priority setting. The program also features a full-time mental health counselor and separate mentoring to help students with social interaction.

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