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ASPIRES was developed to give support with transition and managing the college campus for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program provides academic support, assistance in executive function skills and social relationships. The goal of this program is for each student to graduate with an associate degree, have the option to continue their education and/or be competitively employed.

How To Apply

Applicants must first apply to NCC and take the placement exam. ASD students will need to meet the following criteria to be accepted to the NCC ASPIRES program:

  • Diagnosis of high functioning Autism and or related disability from a physician/neurologist
  • Regents diploma or local diploma – not an IEP/skills certificate
  • IQ of +/- 90 (WISC/WAIS). Recommendations attesting to an applicant’s college academic ability may be considered as part of the application process
  • Applicants must provide evidence of ability to do college-level academic work
  • Applicant must provide evidence that they have the ability to adhere to the NCC student code of conduct

Is ASPIRES Right For You?

ASPIRES concentrates in academic supports, assistance in executive function skills and social relationships. These components of the program are conducted by the use of Strategic Educators (SE). Peer mentors incorporate social relationship models with ASPIRES students. 

Strategic Education (SE)

Students from local four year universities will serve as Strategic Educators to ASPIRES students. Utilizing the intrusive advisement/counseling model, the ASPIRES student receives social skills and executive functioning skills programming in one-to-one and group counseling sessions several times each week. The SE advisor/counselor also tracks the ASPIRES student's academic progress, reviewing that academic progress with the student and other members of the ASPIRES team each week, and then works on enhancing the present and future academic/social/executive functioning counseling interactions with that student.

ASPIRES does not initiate reasonable accommodations. All Federal accommodations are received through the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD). It is the responsibility of the students to register with CSD and is a required of all ASPIRES students.

Peer Mentors

NCC students trained in working with students with ASD. These students must be trained by director and staff on campus to help students with peer relations through social situations. Peer mentors will participate at social group meetings as well as small group meetings. This is necessary to assist ASPIRES students in transitioning into academic and campus life and helping ASPIRES students developing a feeling of place at NCC.

The goal of this program is for each student to graduate with an associate degree, have the option to continue their education and /or be competitively employed.

All components of the ASPIRES program are mandatory for all students in the program. Individual student admission and continued enrollment in ASPIRES is probationary and is based upon their consistent compliance with all components of the ASPIRES program. 

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