The guiding purpose of UA-ACTS is to facilitate a campus environment that promotes an enjoyable and successful college experience for students with ASD in preparation for their future endeavors.
The UA-ACTS program provides individualized services to help students develop appropriate skills for self-advocacy, daily living, and social interactions that will contribute to their success as an independent adult. UA-ACTS seeks to provide support for the transition into a large, traditional university campus and to guide students towards achieving their goals for the future. Also, the program seeks to promote awareness and understanding of ASDs throughout the campus community through education, training, and collaborations with University programs, faculty, staff, and students.
The program provides each UA-ACTS student with a therapist-mentor who meets approximately three times weekly with the student to provide services in academics, social skills, daily living, and emotional well-being. In addition, students are expected to complete a minimum of 4 hours of study hall in the UA-ACTS building and participate in group meetings every other week.
- One-on-one discussions of academics, including organization and planning of study time, using classroom attendance efficiently, prioritizing of assignments, preparation for exams, etc.
- Regular communication with instructors, including monthly progress reports and individual meetings as needed regarding student strengths and weaknesses in the classroom.
- Guidance to help students become self-advocates to ensure academic success, including requesting appropriate accommodations from ODS and using campus services, such as the Center for Academic Success, writing center, and math lab.
- One-on-one discussions focusing on the social aspects of college life, including interacting with instructors and classmates, roommates, dating, etc.
- Students are strongly encouraged to identify one or two social clubs through Get on Board Day or the online club listing, The Source.
Daily Living and Career Support
- "Check ins" for daily living skills as needed, including meeting in the dorm room and checking for cleanliness, etc.
- Regular contact with residential life personnel, including RAs, dorm director, etc. to give information about ASD, provide support and education, and obtain information about needs in the dorm setting.Discussing options for majors and minors that will facilitate the students career goals. Helping the student access the Career Center on-campus.
- Assisting students with the skills needed to find jobs after college (e.g., finding work-related experiences while in college, interview skills, accessing campus resources related to job-finding).
Emotional and Psychological Well-Being
- Provision of counseling services as needed to identify appropriate coping strategies to manage symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, provided or supervised by a licensed psychologist.
- Consultation with psychiatrists on campus is available for students and families who would prefer that psychiatric medications be managed locally.
- Each student and his or her mentor will contact the parents jointly at least once per week to update them on the student's progress. These contacts can be by email, phone, or Skype.
- Parents are asked to attend at least on in-person meeting per semester with the student, therapist-mentor, and the program director.
A representative from the program is on call in case of an emergency. This number is available to only parents, students, and housing administrators.