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The ASPIRE Program

The ASPIRE Program
Saint Joseph's University
The ASPIRE Program
5600 City Ave
The Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Program Contact Angus Murray
Phone 610-660-2170
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

The Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support has a two-fold mission of preparing the autism professionals of tomorrow while serving families and individuals affected today. The Kinney Center offers a wide array of programs to support people on the spectrum. Our Bridge to Possibilities program through both our ASPIRE College Bridge and Vocational Bridge programs help students with autism make the transition from high school to any post-secondary education and from both high school and post secondary to the work place. 

Program information submitted: October 15, 2020

Public or private: Private
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? Yes
Students in this program:
  • Have graduated or exited from high school
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 50
Description of our summer transition program:

College Bound Retreat An immersive, overnight retreat for high school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are planning to enroll in college or similar postsecondary education following graduation. Kinney’s College Bound Retreat provides specialized support, over the course of 4 days and 3 nights, to kick-start the achievement of participant’s long-term educational goals.

Attendees of the retreat learn about: • autism support at the college level, • living away from home, • choosing an area of study, • social and daily living skills to navigate a college campus, • and the different types of social relationships. Program Highlights • Reside in, tour and utilize Saint Joseph’s University facilities to experience and envision campus life (residence halls, classrooms, gym, dining hall, library, etc.) • Presentation and discussion of college life through the eyes and stories of a college student with ASD • Information on commuting options and options for residence hall living • Explore majors, minors, classes and other academic programs • Introduction to connecting with available support on campus, including the Office of Student Success and the Office of Student Disability Services • Learn about extra-curricular activities and student clubs • Tips for managing social relationships •

Meals will be provided each day and are included in the cost of the program Transportation to and from campus will be required on the first and day last of programming

Deadline to apply to this program: Rolling
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Autism
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? No
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Tuition Waivers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Local School District funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Grant Funding
Scholarships available:

The Kinney Center has some scholarships available to offset fees associated with the program. 

Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities)
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Students do not take typical college courses
More about course access:

Courses available vary depending on students abilities. Some people are eligible for college courses for credit and some are not.

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Are students in this program able to access support services through your IHE disability services office? Yes
Information on special classes:

While some of our students take courses with our typical college students, parts of our programs are only available to individuals in our programs i.e. social skills classes, vocational training, etc. 

Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Varies based on program
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 10%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 80%
Does this program have a working partnership with VR to provide funding, supports and/or services to students in the program? Yes
Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
  • Specialized on campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes