Title

Defining College Readiness for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Delphi Study to Guide School Counselors

Date of Completion

January 2011

Keywords

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Special|Education, Higher

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face unique challenges in attaining postsecondary education. However, as awareness of supports increases, such as early intervention programs and evidence-based practices, more students with ASD view postsecondary education as an option. Little research exists of the role of secondary school counselor and postsecondary institutions in providing college readiness counseling and supporting students with ASD in college. Therefore, a three round Delphi methodology was used to examine college readiness characteristics for students with ASD, the secondary school counselor's role in providing equitable counseling, and the postsecondary institution's role in creating a supportive college environment for this population. An expert panel of 19 individuals with experience and knowledge in postsecondary transition for students with ASD was surveyed. The expert participants identified 54 college readiness characteristics for students with ASD, 29 tasks of school counselors in providing equitable college counseling to students with ASD, and 22 strategies for postsecondary institutions to create a supportive environment for students with ASD. Suggestions for school counselors and postsecondary institutions are provided based on the results of this study. ^