Cullen McCurdy, Holly Miller, Christian Parkes, Ken Pierson, Maggie Whaley
Grand Valley State University

Afternoon Session ~

"College Success for Students on the Spectrum"

This session will discuss the importance of a multi-tiered system of support for college students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from the perspective of students on the spectrum, peer mentors, and faculty members. A multi-tiered system includes a range of supports under development at Grand Valley State University from a student organization focused on ASD awareness and social networking to a Campus Links program that offers peer mentoring, living supports, and a targeted university course. This session will also address the experiences of college students on the spectrum both in preparation for and during college. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the student panel.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the growing need for college level supports for students on the autism spectrum
  • Understand a multi-tiered system of support for college students with ASD
  • Describe the types of supports that are beneficial to individuals with ASD in the college environment
  • Describe a peer mentoring model and its application to a university setting

About the Presenters ~

Amy Matthews, Ph.D.
Amy Matthews is a Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and director of the GVSU Autism Education Center. Dr. Matthews is the Director of the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START) funded by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education. She is actively involved in various state and local projects to improve integrated opportunities and quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Students
Cullen McCurdy is a junior at GVSU majoring in Writing. Holly Miller is a sophomore at GVSU majoring in Chinese. Christian Parkes is a senior at GVSU majoring in Geography. Ken Pierson is a senior at GVSU majoring in Psychology. Maggie Whaley is a junior at GVSU majoring in Special Education