Transitioning to the University Environment: The transition to a post-secondary university education environment involves many new experiences and some challenges. There are many differences in the nature of structure, routine, and supports available to students in high school as compared to a four-year university. This brochure explains some of these differences and provides a comparison of services provided by the fee-based STEP program for students with autism and other services provided by the Academic Success Center at EIU for students with disabilities.
STEP Services: Students in STEP receive services in aspects of executive functions; self-appraisal and advocacy; insightful and flexible social communication; social engagement on campus, and orienting and adapting to the routines of college life. STEP is not a special education program nor is it designed or intended to teach, re-teach, or modify the academic curriculum requirements of the University or the courses your college student enrolls in.
Our Approach: We use structured supports, scheduled guidance, skill- and strategy-teaching sessions, individualized coaching, peer and graduate mentors, and professional speech-langauge pathologists with expertise in adolescent and young adult development to foster independence and accountability. In order to directly address executive function, academic, social, and daily living skills, STEP provides the following opportunities:
STEP Students: We are ideally geared towards those students with a diagnosis of autism who are academically transition-ready for the college classroom and who desire to participate in our program as they strive to become responsible for the success of their college career and goals. Candidates for admission to STEP have typically been enrolled in college-preparatory level courses in high school and/or community college. We are a good match for students who have the ability to direct parts of their day without the need for 1:1 support or extensive modifications to their homework assignments, but who still need guidance organizing, prioritizing, planning, and monitoring the completion of their homework. We are also a good match for those students who have some degree of accurate self-awareness as we support their efforts to learn about and respond effectively to the social and communication situations of the college environment.
STEP Admissions: STEP has limited enrollment, an application and interview process, and a commitment of 11-12 hours a week from students. All students who are initially admitted and agree to participate in STEP take part in the Full STEP program. Students who demonstrate success at EIU and need less support for continued success (per STEP reports and STEP director recommendation) may transition to the STEP Maintenance program, where they develop more independence and self-regulation.
1311 Klehm Hall
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: (217) 581-7105