College wins $1 million state grant for neurodiversity program

by Tom Beck
Posted 4/28/22

The Neurodiversity Life Skills Through Career Program, which will serve incoming students who have a neurodiversity diagnosis, will provide extra support starting the summer before their first year of college. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

College wins $1 million state grant for neurodiversity program

Posted

Chestnut Hill College has announced a $1 million state grant that will fund a new campus program designed to support students with neurodiversity challenges. 

The Neurodiversity Life Skills Through Career Program, which will serve incoming students who have a neurodiversity diagnosis, will provide extra support starting the summer before their first year of college. 

“Chestnut Hill College recognizes that the transition to college is a time of significant change for many young adults,” the college wrote in a statement describing the program. “For neurodivergent individuals diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and other learning differences, the excitement and anticipation of college is frequently coupled with a sense of nervousness about these important next steps.”

State Rep. Chris Rabb, who is chair of the Equity Committee and a member of the Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disability Caucus in the state House, was instrumental in procuring funding through a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.

“We must celebrate and appreciate everyone’s inherent value, including our neighbors and loved ones who are on the spectrum,” Rabb told the Local. 

According to college spokesman Chris Spangler, CHC will formally thank Rabb at an event on Thursday, April 28 at 2 p.m., which will be held at the SugarLoaf campus.

“We at Chestnut Hill College appreciate the tremendous and ongoing support of Representative Rabb on behalf of our students and our College community,” Spangler told the Local. “This latest award comes at a pivotal moment for CHC as we are set to advance a meaningful new slate of neurodiversity programming.”

The new program will start with a six-week Summer Bridge Program before freshman year or the summer before matriculation for transfer students. The summer program is designed to help students adapt to college and campus life.

In those initial weeks, the program will offer degree-seeking students an affirming and collaborative experience that is individualized to address their needs and interests, according to CHC’s description. Students will be invited to live on campus for one of the six weeks, during which time they can take a three-credit class and start building a network of new friends and classmates. Completion of the three-credit summer program means they’ll be able to take fewer courses in the fall, easing their transition to their first full semester. 

After completing the summer program, students will begin the regular college school year in the fall. Students who live on campus and those who commute will be able to continue participating in the program throughout all four years of their undergraduate experience.

“The program goal is to support a student’s journey to reach the pinnacle of their college experience, emerging prepared to be an independent, innovative thinker, contributing to and engaging with a global society using their unique skills,” the statement reads. “Independent living skills and executive function strategies will be facilitated by campus staff to foster student autonomy on campus.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here