The success of college students with autism relies on a strong support system, a team. The TEAM (Teaching Employment and Academic Mastery) program provides individualized mentoring, tutoring, coaching, education planning, internship, and career development to support students with autism. The TEAM Coach individually meets and guides the students on a weekly basis in order to monitor their progress with classes and assists the student with time management, organizational planning and self-advocacy skills. For more information and to start the application process, please send us an email.
Stars Are Social
This program is the “heart” of STARS. It is the first-developed program; and in May 2020, CBU recognized STARS as the Student Organization of the Year. The social activities provided by STARS foster personal growth and encourage the formation of meaningful friendships with one’s college peers.
Students benefit from engaging in social interactions with their non-autistic peers (who model appropriate social behaviors). Skills that are often considered natural or intuitive, such as maintaining eye contact, initiating and ending conversations, and regulating appropriate social distance are typically impaired with people that have autism.
Starting and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits are difficult for most college students. Many students, especially freshman, experience enormous lifestyle changes, which may cause increased anxiety, difficulty focusing and depression. For students with autism, this is especially true. The objective of the program is to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of students enrolled in the TEAM program.
Mission of the Program: We aim to build capacity by assisting forward-thinking companies to begin their own inclusive hiring programs. We will support their efforts by serving as a community resource in providing awareness and sensitivity training. We will also provide research and updated information to aid in navigating and improving their pathway to inclusive onboarding and employee retention.
Stewardship with STARS
Educating, Volunteering, and Giving Back to the Community.
Due to the continued and staggering rise of children diagnosed with ASD, and many of them entering college campuses, the ultimate goal for STARS is to serve as a program model and reach out to other colleges and universities to help prepare and transform them into an ASD-friendly campus. This will in turn increase the number of ASD students that a college or university is capable to serve and will improve their retention, increase both graduation and employment rates, thus helping these students realize their hopes and dreams by being productive members of society.
In addition, STARS makes it a priority to give back to those in need in the community by partnering with area non-profits to build connections and support their efforts.
Reaching for the STARS – Research Program
For the past three decades, most research funding went towards finding the cause and cure for autism. Unfortunately, there have not been any definitive findings and this phenomenon continues to grow. It is one of our objectives to conduct research on how these students can reach their goals of having skills for independent living in order to have successful adult lives and careers. The research program will be multifaceted. As STARS continues to grow its staff and programming, conducting research will be a vital part of its path forward.