Frequently Asked Questions
What services does the program offer?
The University of Arkansas Autism Support Program provides comprehensive services to our students in the areas of academics, social skills and transitioning to independent adult roles. Academic coaches assist with course registration, time management, organization and communicating successfully with instructors. Student life staff helps students manage dorm life, interact with peers, and take advantage of the myriad of clubs, sporting, and cultural opportunities on campus and in the community. Staff works closely with university faculty and various administrative offices including Enrollment Services, the Center for Educational Access, the Center for Learning And Student Success (CLASS+), Campus Life, and Student Activities. In addition, the program director communicates regularly with parents regarding student progress and any concerns that may arise. Students receive 15 to 20 hours of direct contact each week with program staff, including academic coaches, mentors and the program director.
What kind of student is appropriate for the program?
Students with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, Asperger's syndrome, PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) or non-verbal learning disability are eligible to apply. Students with other forms of learning disabilities or ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) also may be appropriate for the program at the discretion of the program director and program admissions committee. Students with major psychiatric disorders, a history of violence or those requiring a one-on-one aid cannot be served adequately by this program and will not be admitted. Interested students must be accepted for admission to the University of Arkansas and must meet the minimum requirements for admission. In order to be successful, students must be capable of doing college-level work, and they must be able to live independently away from home in a dorm.
What is the application process?
Students must apply to and be accepted by the university. Students also must apply to and be accepted by the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program. Students must complete the program application and submit the following: a copy of the most recent IEP (individualized education program) or Section 504 plan, two letters of recommendation from teachers or guidance counselors from high school, and a neuropsychological report stating the applicant's primary and any co-occurring diagnoses. In addition, applicants must visit the University of Arkansas campus and be interviewed by the program director.
Where do students live?
Freshmen live on campus in dorms and eat in university dining halls. Students may sign up for meal plans that best suit their needs. Upperclassmen may live in university housing or in nearby apartment complexes. Students who live close to the University of Arkansas may live at home.
How much does the program cost?
The cost of the program is $5,000 per semester. This fee is in addition to the tuition and housing fees due to the University of Arkansas.
How are students in the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program different from other U of A students?
Students in the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program are fully matriculated, degree-seeking University of Arkansas students. The only difference is the support our students receive. Students are not segregated in any way from the rest of the university student population.