Each month, the NCC features a question received by our Technical Assistance (TA) team in our monthly newsletter. In 2021, the team answered 600 inquiries from parents, teachers, students, administrators, program staff, guidance counselors, and friends. If you have a question about inclusive postsecondary education, email us at ThinkCollegeTA@gmail.com.
My son is a freshman in high school with autism. He does fairly well in all of his college prep high school classes with lots of support to organize and socialize and I know he is going to need a lot of support in college. What are his options in California for colleges that will provide him with the kind of supports he needs to be successful?
The National Coordinating Center (NCC) is a grant funded by the federal government specifically to support college programs for students with intellectual disability. The NCC maintains the www.ThinkCollege.net website, list of college programs for students with intellectual disability who typically are seeking a college certificate rather than a college degree.
If your son has autism and an intellectual disability and is not seeking a college degree, then sorting by California on the College Search pages will provide an appropriate list of colleges for your son and you to consider.
If your son does not have an intellectual disability and IS or will be interested in a degree, www.ThinkCollege.net may not be the best resource for you as it does not include degree-seeking programs. I would suggest instead that you review the lists of colleges that offer specialized support for degree seeking students with autism. Below are links to a few sites that provide lists of colleges who indicate specific supports for student with autism. I have also provided the link to a Student Guide specifically for students with autism.
- College Autism Network has a downloadable spreadsheet of 40 colleges with established supports for students with autism which they update regularly. Their website also shares other resources.
- Autism Specific College Support Programs Database is the College Autism Network's new searchable database.
- College Autism Spectrum has a list of programs by state and other helpful information on this site as well, including some info on transition to college.
- Top 20 Value Colleges for students with autism. While I am not familiar with the information, it may be of use. They do explain their methodology in creating the list.
- Student Guide: The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has published a guide for students, written by people with autism - it may be of interest to you or your son: http://autisticadvocacy.org/resources/books/navigating-college/