The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has been selected as one of the country’s best colleges for students with autism.
Collegechoice.net has ranked UTC as the 20th best school in the United States when it comes to providing services for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The website points to Mosaic, the program created by the UTC Disability Resource Center.
“Considered one of the most comprehensive programs in the nation, Mosaic is steeped in ASD research, best practice analysis, and student collaboration,” CollegeChoice says. “Unique to Mosaic is its model; it is organized into four primary components, each split into an academic year:
- Year One: Students focus on, and are coached through, issues of independence, social and academic strategies, and self-advocacy.
- Year Two: Students learn about developing identity, reframing their understanding of self in positive ways, and how to navigate unwritten social rules.
- Year Three: Students build on what they learned in the first two years to begin thinking about their careers. They work on job shadowing, mock interviews, resume building, and more.
- Year Four: The final year builds on the third in that students gain internship experience, volunteer experience, attend career fairs, etc. This year is seen as the culminating year, when all the pieces come together.
Schools on the list “provide guidance and counseling on life skills, including hygiene awareness, dorm decorum, communication techniques with peers and faculty,” the website says. “Similarly, many of the best schools for students with ASD offer vital transition programs. Because high school is so different than college—the latter being marked by independence and self-sufficiency—many students have a hard time with the adjustment. The transition program is an effective way schools help students have a smooth passage into college life.”
The CollegeChoice website has full details on the schools chosen for the list.