The College Fix: Colleges Expand Support

Colleges expand support for people with autism, other developmental disorders


Willamette University’s program for “neurodiverse” students, College Access Navigators, or CAN, provides services like peer mentoring with a focus on “collaborative problem solving,” according to a CAN slideshow.

Additional services provided by CAN include scheduling of school-related appointments, communication with instructors, registration assistance, organizing long-term assignments, scheduling exams and more.

CAN started in the fall of 2019 in collaboration with a similar program at Bellevue College in Washington, according to Willamette University.

Bellevue College’s “Neurodiversity Navigator” program was formerly the “Autism Spectrum Navigators,” Bellevue programs representative Sara Gardner told The College Fix via email.

“We decided to expand to neurodivergent students in Fall 2019 because we realized just how many other students needed the educational classes and other services we provide,” Gardner said.

The Bellevue program is entering its twelfth year and had the highest enrollment on record this year with 92 incoming students, according to Gardner.

“It has been extremely successful,” Gardner said; the students “have integrated well as a whole community of students.”

“We see students blossom before our eyes and take charge of their education with a new understanding of the possibilities that lie before them.”

Read the entire article at The College Fix: Colleges expand support for people with autism, other developmental disorders

Last Updated July 20, 2023