An Assessment of Personal Readiness for College with ASD

In a previous blog I wrote about the topic of readiness within higher education to support college students with Asperger’s Disorder. The series touched on the ability of colleges to provide effective academic, social, and independent living supports. The “Benchmarks of Effective Supports for College Students with Asperger’s Disorder,” a tool to assess readiness of a specific institution, was provided.

But how can individual ASD students know that they are ready for college?

We at Marshall University receive numerous applications for our college support program. In fact, each year we typically receive more applications than we have spots to fill. So early on we developed an in-house tool to help assess the personal readiness of each applicant.

While not a valid assessment tool, this “Applicant Evaluation” may be a good instrument to use to assess basic readiness. At the very least it can inform the dialogue around the topic. Click on the downloadable link below for the full assessment:

Applicant Assessment

This assessment rates readiness on a 1(low) to 5 (high) scale related to:

  • Academics
  • Independent Living
  • Socialization
  • Safety
  • Sexuality
  • Stress
  • Personal Insight

Questions within each category are designed to provide insight into an individual’s ability to live safely and effectively in a campus community. Some are designed to get at very subtle – but necessary – skills. For example, in the Academic section one item rates the ability to “alert professors or tutors if an absence is necessary”. Another rates if the student “will engage in commonly understood and appropriate classroom etiquette”.

Again, the tool is not a valid instrument and it’s not intended to be used as such. It simply highlights areas of strength and need, and directs conversation to the basic skills necessary to live successfully within a campus community.

By Marc Ellison

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Marc Ellison, Ed.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an approved Licensed Professional supervisor (ALPS) who has worked nearly 30 years to provide person-centered support, services and advocacy to individuals who live with autism spectrum disorders, their families and those who support them. He has supported individuals with ASD throughout their lifespan, as they moved to the community from state-supported institutions, searched for and obtained employment, entered into relationships, and transitioned into college. Dr. Ellison is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center, and a part-time professor at Marshall University.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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