Naomi Petersen (Accessibility Studies)
Students on the Autism Spectrum often have great difficulty transitioning from high school to college (for a variety of reasons). The dropout rate for these students is troubling and the challenges are immense. One way to help these students transition in a way that will optimize the chance of success is to use an academic coaching model (based on the coaching principles of the International Coach Federation). I believe that using this model will better help evaluate the student’s classroom needs in order to assist the classroom teacher to accommodate the student based on their particular way of learning, their academic interests and their way of showing mastery of a subject. With the goal of student success in mind, I am developing a “transition to high school” coaching model that will take the students’ needs and learning styles as paramount so as to help the classroom teacher provide the tools necessary to maximize success and to accommodate full academic inclusion for all students. The coaching model offers a specific set of tools that allows the coach to get to know the student in a way the classroom teacher cannot do. The coach serves as an intermediate between the student and classroom teacher in order to assure full accessibility.
Keywords: Transition to College, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Academic Coaching, Classroom Accessibility