Office location: B131 [PDF map] below the Planetarium – open to students, faculty, and staff only
Virtual Office hours: M-F 8 AM – 5 PM
Campus Location Open: M-Th 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Main line: (425) 564-2764
Provide educational opportunities, along with advocacy support, for Neurodivergent students pursuing any program of study at Bellevue College, and provide campus and community leadership and education regarding neurodiversity, social justice, disability, and autism.
Below, you will find some Frequently Asked Questions, as well as links to some Frequently Requested Resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I sign up for the Neurodiversity Navigators program?
Entry into the program is Summer only, however, we have many services available all year for Bellevue College students all year long.
Read the “Future Students” page on our website and review the Next Steps on that page for all the details. There is no formal application – you will let us know about your interest by:
- Attending a Q&A Information Session,
- Sending us your English placement, and
- Completing Step #8: Schedule a meeting with us.
Q: Do I need to have a medical diagnosis and documentation to be in the program?
No, you don’t! You do need to identify as autistic, or neurodivergent, and, you also need to want to explore that identity in our academic cohort classes by exploring your strengths as a neurodivergent person. (Note: to receive ADA Classroom and Testing accommodations, please check in with the Disability Resource Center, a separate department.)
Q: What kind of services does the program provide?
Neurodiversity Navigators provides advocacy, access to college resources and class materials, and educational services for neurodivergent students at BC. We support neurodivergent students in four ways:
- Students participate in a series of cohort classes that they take alongside their regular programs of study – these classes are designed as career preparation classes, and they focus on soft skills such as Executive Functioning, Stress Management, Occupational Wellness, Interpersonal Communication, Self-Advocacy, and more. You can see a list of courses here [PDF]
- Students also meet with a trained peer mentor regularly for access support – to ensure that the student can access their class materials and campus resources, and communicate with instructors. Peer mentors aren’t tutors, and they don’t do the work for the student, instead, they support the student in accessing resources, and discovering ways to do the work and communication for themselves, using strength-based growth models. While they also support students in accessing clubs and other social opportunities, they do not attend social functions with students, nor do they act as social role models.
- NdN provides parent support and training (and 4.) faculty and staff support and training as well.
You can find out more about the Neurodiversity Navigators program here.
Q: What classes will I take as part of the Neurodiversity Navigators program?
As part of the cohort program, you will take a College & Career Preparation class each quarter with other students in the program. This is a series of six classes (one each quarter) that build on each other to support you in identifying your personal strengths and how you can use them to your benefit both in academic and in your future career.
These are college-credit classes, and can serve as elective credit for most degrees. Be sure to check with your advisor regarding your own degree path to see how they fit in, and talk to us about any questions that come up. You can download a PDF with required NdN classes here.
You will take one NdN class each quarter, along with at least one other class of your choice for your degree path. You should plan to take at least 7 credits each quarter, which means at least one other course in addition to the NdN course. Please let us know if you have concerns about this.
Q: Who are the peer mentors?
Peer mentors are current juniors, seniors, graduate students, or recent college graduates who are interested in working with neurodivergent students to help prepare them for their future careers. Many of our peer mentors are neurodivergent themselves, and all have learned from experiences they’ve had in college.
Neurodiversity Navigators peer mentors go through many hours of training prior to working with you and are trained to work with you to problem-solve to help you figure out what you want to do and how you can do it – they don’t tell you what to do. They’re there to check in with you each week, listen to you explain any barriers you’re facing in college, and work on finding solutions together. Peer mentors can help you to stay on track academically and with things that college students need to do, like register for next quarter’s classes on time.
Remember: peer mentors are not magic, and you’ll have to attend meetings and be willing to discuss barriers to get the best results out of your peer mentor meetings!
Q: What if I don’t get along with my peer mentor?
We work very hard to match you with the right peer mentors, however, in the rare instance that we get it wrong, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what’s up. We’ll work to either resolve the issue or find you a new peer mentor. We want to make sure your peer mentor meetings are the best use of your time, and that includes finding you the best peer mentor that we can.
Q: How are peer mentor meetings scheduled?
You will fill out a survey each quarter to let us know your availability for peer mentor meetings for the next quarter. Neurodiversity Navigators staff use that information to match students with peer mentors who would work well for them, and whose schedules fit.
Peer mentor meetings are 45 minutes once a week. You’ll meet on the same day and time each week for every week of the quarter. You will have a new peer mentor and a new meeting time each quarter, based on fit and availability.
If these meetings don’t work for you for any reason, simply let us know and we will work it out together!
Q: How can students interact with other students at Bellevue College?
Like all college students, students in Neurodiversity Navigators can join clubs on campus, meet others in their classes (including your cohort class!) and around campus, and hang out in shared spaces like the Neurodiversity Center, the LGBTQ Center, Multicultural Services, and the Cafeteria, just to name a few.
There’s lots of ways to connect with others! Peer mentors can help you figure out the best ways for you to meet other students who have similar interests, if that’s something you tell them you’d like support with.
Q: How much does it cost?
There is no charge for program services. Students pay tuition for the academic credit cohort classes that they take each quarter. These classes cost approximately $223 – $550 each quarter, and in most cases they provide transferable college credit and count as elective credits towards a student’s degree program. Certain exceptions apply. Please check with us regarding your personal situation if you have questions, and be sure to check in with Financial Aid if you are a recipient.
Q: Do you teach life skills?
We teach academic and career preparation skills in the cohort classes, and peer mentors work each week on problem-solving skills, using a research-based method that increases cognitive flexibility, frustration tolerance, and executive functioning skills. So, although we aren’t teaching check balancing, or how to do laundry or similar skills, we believe we are teaching you something far more valuable. The ability to speak up when you need support, be an interdependent citizen, and find durable solutions to problems you encounter. These are essential skills that you will need throughout your life.
Q: Do you provide assistance to students who live in the Residence Hall?
We offer a limited amount of support for students living in the Residence Hall. In our perfect world, we’d love to offer even more support! Due to budget and staffing limitations, we offer the following:
- Support for students who apply for Housing accommodations through the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
- As with all other areas of campus life, NdN staff will work with other staff at the college to support you on campus.
- Problem solving things like organization, some daily living tasks like finding grocery stores nearby or figuring out bus schedules with your peer mentor.
- Reminders for attending classes and meetings, or tasks that you decide you’d like to be reminded of.
If there’s something you feel you need support with for Housing and are wondering if we’d be able to accommodate you when you get to BC, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Q: How can I find out more? Can I make an appointment?
Please watch our information videos and attend a Q&A Information Meeting, held once a month, on the second Monday evening of each month, January through May from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Visit our information page to learn more. We also hold an additional event at least once per year, if Mondays don’t work for you. You can keep in touch with us as well on our Facebook page.
After the final Q&A Information Meeting in May, you can still join us! Read over these Frequently Asked Questions and Resources first, then, if you have further questions or need support with getting connected with us, you can email, text, or chat with us, or even join us on campus or virtually for a drop-in Connection Support Meeting.
Q: Can I come visit? Can I tour the Neurodiversity Center?
While you can definitely visit the campus, and take a campus tour, our offices are closed to the public for privacy reasons. We do have a virtual tour of the Neurodiversity Center, though, and hope you enjoy it!
Frequently Requested Resources
Neurodiversity Navigators Next Steps Checklist
To join the Neurodiversity Navigators Cohort Program that starts in Summer 2023, you’ll need to work your way through the steps on the Future Students (Next Steps) list. Start right away! Many steps take time and prior planning. The deadline for the first step is June 9 (6/9).
Support for Applying to NdN
If you’re feeling a little lost trying to navigate the steps to join, we’re here to help! Learn more about options for support with applying to Neurodiversity Navigators.
Services for All Neurodivergent Bellevue College Students
If you’re not sure you want to be in the full cohort program, here are the services Neurodiversity Navigators offers all neurodivergent Bellevue College students.
See an Admissions Advisor for support with:
- Navigating the admissions process
- Setting up and logging in to your ctcLink account
- Asking questions about BC’s degree and certificate programs
- Getting connected with other campus resources.
Bellevue College Application Process
To apply to Bellevue College follow the steps listed on the Get Started at Bellevue College page.
There are virtual and on-campus tour options listed on the BC Tour Page.
Disability Resource Center (DRC)
Start the process for getting ADA classroom accommodations from the Disability Resource Center (DRC). If you don’t have medical documentation of your disability, that’s ok! Medical or educational documentation is not required for scheduling an appointment.
English & Math Placement
Other placement options are listed on our Future Students page – see #4, Determine your English Placement.
For information about support paying for college, see Financial Aid’s website. Application deadlines are on the left-hand side of the page at the link above.
You may also qualify for support from Workforce Education.
Jobs – Center for Career Connections
The Center for Career Connections is your resource for job searches, work-study and internship information, and support with working towards your future career. You’ll be doing some of this in your Neurodiversity Navigators classes, but if you need to search for jobs right away, you can check out their resources, or schedule an appointment.
Registration for Summer & Fall
Registration for Summer & Fall classes begins on May 11 (5/11)!
You can register for the Summer FYS 101: Neurodiversity Cohort class as soon as your registration opens, even if you haven’t met with us yet. That class is open to all neurodivergent students at BC who wish to take it and space is limited, so please register right away.
Summer classes reminder: we recommend taking ONLY the FYS course in the summer. Please discuss with us prior to registering for additional summer courses as we may not be able to provide support.
You’ll receive more information about the required Neurodiversity Navigators Fall class, EXPRL 180: Skills for Navigating College and Career, after your meeting with us. Please save time in your schedule for ONE of these two options:
- Option 1) EXPRL 180, MW, 11:30-12:20, On Campus and On Zoom (HyFlex)
- Option 2) EXPRL 180, TTh, 1:30-2:20, Online only
Find additional available classes on the college’s Fall Class List. You can register for these classes starting May 11. Remember to save space in your schedule for our required Fall course. See Step #6 on our Future Students page for more information.
You can check out what other students have to say about the instructor options for your chosen fall classes on Rate My Professor.
Last Updated September 19, 2023