Promoting College Enrollment and Student Success for Youth with Disabilities: Innovation through a DSPS Transition to College Team
May 18, 2023
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted Fresno City College staff to share information about their Transition to College (TTC) team, an innovative model within Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) office designed to increase college enrollment for all students with disabilities. In this webinar, the Fresno City TTC Team described some of the key elements of their outreach and engagement efforts that raise college expectations for students with disabilities and facilitate quick connection to DSPS services and supports that enhance student success. Through partnerships with K-12 districts, the TTC Team provides a seamless and supportive pipeline for these students, reducing the burden on students and DSPS counselors. This type of support is especially important for students on the autism spectrum and students with intellectual disability, who are less likely to expect to enroll in and take steps to prepare for college (Lipscomb et al., 2017).
New Pathway to High School Diploma Raises College Expectations for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
May 2, 2023
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted Sue Sawyer, president of the California Transition Alliance, who was part of the workgroup that made recommendations related to new legislation creating an alternate pathway to a diploma for students with intellectual disability. In this webinar, Sue Sawyer provided a practical understanding of this alternate pathway to a diploma, which opens opportunities for students with intellectual disability who have traditionally received certificates of completion in lieu of a diploma. The webinar also discussed the implications for students, K-12 systems, and community college through changing expectations and anticipated impacts on college readiness, financial aid access, and employment.
NeuroPREP: A Research Base for Faculty Preparation in Educating Neurodivergent Students
March 22, 2023
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted the developers of NeuroPREP, Dr. Sasha Zeedyk of Cal State Fullerton, and Dr. Yasamin Bolourian, an analyst at TNTP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending educational inequality. ‘NeuroPREP’ [Professors’ Relationship and Education Program] is a set of four training modules designed to prepare college faculty to work with neurodivergent students and to create conditions specifically aimed at benefiting these students in the classroom. In this webinar, our speakers discussed the research that inspired the creation of NeuroPREP and the development process that went into creating the faculty training modules. Such programs are essential as students with autism and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represent increasing neurodiversity in college; yet no training or intervention resources directly target the professors who teach and provide accommodations to neurodivergent students daily. For more information about the NeuroPREP modules and specific content, as well as options for accessing NeuroPREP, please contact email@example.com.
Autism Goes to College Film Screening and Panel Discussion
February 27, 2023
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted a screening of the documentary, Autism Goes to College, which highlights the diverse experiences of autistic college students, including their challenges and successes. Following the film screening, we were joined by Dr. Jan Blacher (Distinguished Research Professor at UC Riverside and UCLA), Dr. Michael Hoggatt (DSPS faculty at Saddleback College), and two students on the spectrum, whose experiences were documented in the film, Jasmine Board and Guillermo Guzman. Panelists shared ways in which the film and associated resources can be used by colleges to promote faculty and community awareness, and shared factors that support autistic student success.
Please see below for a recording of our panel discussion.
Holistic Supports for Students with Autism, Intellectual Disability (ID), and Mental Health: Establishing a Wellness Program
April 14, 2022
The Tarjan Center at UCLA, in collaboration with Cypress College and North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE), will host a webinar on Holistic Supports for Students with Autism, Intellectual Disability (ID), and Mental Health: Establishing a Wellness Program. Casey Souza, Christine Lakeman, and Alli Stanojkovic shared that disability supports for postsecondary students often involve accommodations and modifications for academics; but for many students with disabilities, holistic supports for non-academic areas are lacking. The believe that many students attending college may be struggling with social skills development, executive functioning, stress management, relationships, and overall wellness. The presenters believed it is important for Disability Support Services (DSS) staff to be aware of the many areas that contribute to student success and provide holistic supports to students with disabilities. Students, Cecilia Cupul and Daniel Ramos shared based on their lived experiences.
Returning to Campus for College Students with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities (I/DD): An Educational Perspective
April 7, 2022
The UCLA Tarjan Center, in collaboration with IGNITE Collective Inc, hosted a 60-minutes webinar on “Returning to Campus for College Students with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities (I/DD): An Educational Perspective”. Through this webinar, Dr. Molly K. Rearick Day shared insights from students and educators and strategies for supporting college students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) as they return to college campuses. Takeaways included specific approaches and resources.
Supported Education: Finding the Right Support for College Success
March 21, 2022
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted a webinar in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, Boston on Supported Education: Finding the Right Support for College Success. In this webinar, Dr. Maria Paiewonsky and Ashley Luce discussed supported education models and highlighted the benefits of providing educational support to students. They delineated specific roles and responsibilities that support staff fulfill, including offering encouragement, providing academic assistance, giving corrective feedback, and prompting organizational skill-building and social-skill awareness.
Students with Autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities: Considerations for Returning to In-Person Instruction
January 24, 2022
In collaboration with Dr. Brian Freedman at the University of Delaware, the UCLA Tarjan Center hosted a webinar on “Students with Autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities: Considerations for Returning to In-Person Instruction”. As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, our society remains scared, confused, and exhausted. In particular, students with disabilities and higher education staff who support them have faced incredible challenges and what seems like constant - often uncomfortable - changes. Through this webinar, Dr. Freedman led webinar participants to reflect on the stress experienced by college students who are autistic and those with other intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). He described individual and systemic strategies and resources to support them as we consider returning to in-person instruction.
Neurodiversity on Campus: Student-Centered Services and Faculty Support
December 7, 2021
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted a webinar on “Neurodiversity on Campus: Student-Centered Services and Faculty Support”, in collaboration with Dr. Natalie Holdren of Santa Barbara City College. Through this webinar, Dr. Holdren provided an overview of the ways Santa Barbara City College worked to facilitate student success through a package of supports that embrace a neurodiversity perspective, student-centered approaches, and faculty and staff training. Dr. Holdren highlighted some of the barriers that students on the spectrum face in navigating postsecondary education, especially in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. She shared the college’s struggles, student feedback, and lessons learned to create dialogue around promising practices for meeting student needs, and strategies that were implemented to provide student-centered services.
Guidance and Coping Strategies for Supporting Students (Including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and with an Intellectual Disability) and Colleagues with Anxiety and Stress, in Uncertain and Turbulent Times
June 14, 2021
The Tarjan Center at UCLA, in collaboration with Larry Schallert, LCSW, DCSW of College of the Canyons, and Molly K. Rearick, Ed.D., of Ignite Collective, Inc. hosted a webinar on “Guidance and Coping Strategies for Supporting Students (Including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and with an Intellectual Disability) and Colleagues with Anxiety and Stress, in Uncertain and Turbulent Times”. The webinar provided information about coping with stress, anxiety, and trauma. The presenters shared protective factors, as well as methods for addressing anxiety and distress with students and colleagues. Cultural factors, issues related to IDD, lessons learned from the implementation of distance learning, and how those lessons apply to supporting students with IDD in an online environment, were discussed.
Building Blocks for Student Engagement: Distance Learning Resources and Strategies Aimed to Increase Student Engagement
May 24, 2021
The UCLA Tarjan Center hosted a webinar in collaboration with Mount San Antonio College on connecting students to campus resources in order to decrease barriers in achieving educational goals in the online setting. The webinar is divided into four segments. In the first segment, Briseida Ramirez Catalan, M.A., and Susan Stroebel, M.S. Ed., provide an overview of strategies to help students with an intellectual disability (ID) engage in online learning environments, and how to maximize students’ participation. In the second segment, Naomi Avila, MSW, M.A., provides a variety of outreach strategies that are used to decrease barriers encountered by students. In the third segment, Dr. Laura Espinosa, DPA, MSW, and Yasmin Cardona-Byrne, MSW, share information about connecting students with educational plans to keep them motivated and on track to complete their educational goals. In the final segment, Elizabeth Hernandez, M.Ed., and Heather Ponce, M.S. CCC-SLP, and Jacquelyn Dunlap introduce the Puzzle Project and how they persisted to engage students by creating successful online communities.
This webinar is designed to explain ways to impact students by collaborating with campus supports and faculty in order to increase student engagement in online classes. More specifically, it lists supports and resources for students who have autism and/or ID to aid social interaction and learning in a remote higher education environment.
Guidance and Strategies for Supporting the Mental Health of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Students with an Intellectual Disability
April 22, 2021
The current crisis of COVID-19 including far-reaching responses such as “Stay at Home” directives, closures of schools and non-essentials businesses, mandated social distancing, and personal hygiene procedures have profoundly impacted the well-being of people nationally. Students enrolled in higher learning institutions when the pandemic hit are experiencing challenges impacting their mental health. Students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, are no exception. Personnel charged with assisting students academically, find themselves with an increasing duty to support the mental health of these students in addition to addressing their support needs in new virtual learning environments.
This webinar featured a panel presentation of lessons learned and “instructional nuggets” shared from the past (2020-2021) year. COVID-19 turned our instructional world on its head. The panelists shared authentic stories of uncertainty, failures, and successes, emerging practices, and lessons learned from our students. Allison Ferrier shared the invaluable role of and ways to utilize instructional assistance during a synchronous Zoom class. Beth Syverson presented online tools that helped her capitalize on the unique benefits of online teaching. Ivan Stanojkovic provided ways of keeping our sessions engaging, interactive, and with limited bugs. Katie Stubblefield shared how she used TV game-show strategies to inspire participation and engagement. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.
Belonging in a College Community (both virtual and traditional) for Students with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities
April 16, 2021
The UCLA Tarjan Center provided a webinar on Belonging in a College Community (both virtual and traditional) for Students with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities. The purpose of the webinar was to provide an overview of belonging in a college community of belonging in a college community (both virtual and traditional for students with autism and or intellectual disabilities. The presenter, Michael Hoggatt, M.S., MPA, Ph.D., DSPS Chair/Advisor-Saddleback Superfriends, of Saddleback College examined how program structures affect image and competency perceptions of students involved in programs for students with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Moreover, Dr. Hoggatt led community colleges to look at key indicators of program success and belonging, and how these may be applied to local programs/ departments.
Practical Strategies for Engaging Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Emerging Online Higher Education Environment
The Tarjan Center at UCLA hosted a webinar on Practical Strategies for Engaging Students with ID and ASD in the Emerging Online Higher Education Environment on Friday, April 17, 2020. The presenters will be Angela Guevara, M.S., Associate Professor/Faculty Coordinator, Santiago Canyon College; Stacy Eldred, M.A., Chair of Occupational and Academic Skills for Independence and Success (OASIS)/Adult Education with Disabilities (AEWD) Program, Saddleback College; and Michael Hoggatt, M.S., MPA, Ph.D., Chair DSPS/Advisor-Saddleback College.
The presenters discussed elements of planning, training, implementation, and follow-through that they pursued over several weeks, in the transition to online instruction. They shared emerging practices and practical strategies for engaging students with ID and ASD in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strategies for Supporting Students with an Intellectual Disability (ID) and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Emerging Higher Education Environment
In the 2019-2020 academic year, the 115 California Community Colleges were initiating and implementing practices designed to improve student outcomes (e.g., focused on increasing the number of students who earn a degree, credential, certificate, or transfer to four-year institutions or attain employment, in high demand jobs).
In the advent of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, it will be important for the colleges to engage with students with an intellectual disability (ID) and students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as soon as possible in the new online environment. This webinar was designed to respond to emerging needs to support students in the wake of the Coronavirus. It features presentations by Maria Paiewonsky, Ed.D. and Jane Thierfeld-Brown, Ed.D. Dr. Paiewonsky provided strategies for supporting students with ID, and Dr. Theirfeld-Brown provided strategies for supporting students with ASD.
Transition for Academic Success is Key
California community colleges (system wide) are currently working on improving the institutions’ ability to assist students to enter and move through higher education. San Joaquin Delta College found that the transition to college was a challenge for some students with disabilities and developed the Transition for Academic Success is Key (TASK) Program. TASK is a two-week learning community curriculum designed to assist 30 students to transition from high school to college. The primary goal of TASK is to build students’ (with disabilities) ability to achieve academic success. The purpose of the webinar was to share how to design and implement programs like TASK on other college campuses.
Webinar on the Transition for Academic Success is Key to Program Part 2
Autism College High School Innovation for Educational and Vocational Excellence (A ACHIEVE) Project by Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D.
February 19, 2019
An increasing number of students with autism spectrum disorder are accessing higher education in general, and California community colleges, in particular. Little is known about effective practices for preparing these students for college. Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D, draws upon more than 30 years of experience as a disability support professional (i.e., recently retired from serving as the director of disability support services at the University of Connecticut, School of Law), consultant to higher education and K-12 professionals, and parent of a 27 year-old son on the spectrum, to highlight strategies that may be used to prepare individuals with autism for college. She presented on a webinar for California community colleges’ Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) directors/coordinators and staff, on February 19, 2019. Click on this link to access the audiovisual recording of the webinar:
Adult Education Block Grant: Is DSS at the Table? by Adam Gottdank, Ph.D., Michael Hoggatt, Ph.D., Katie Stubblefield, MFA, Stormy Miller, Ed.D., Chrissy Gascon, M.Ed., Angela Guevara, MS, Wilbert Francis, MBA
April 23, 2018
A number of our California Community Colleges are doing amazing work to support the academic and workforce development goals of students with disabilities, using Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) funding. The UCLA Tarjan Center in collaboration with Coast Adult Education Consortium, Marin Adult Education, North Orange County Regional Consortium for Adult Education, Rancho Santiago Adult Education Consortium, and South Orange County Regional Consortium will provide a webinar on Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG): Is Disability Support Services (DSS) at the Table? A recording of the webinar may be accessed here:
Strategies for Supporting Students with Autism by Nicole Smith, Ph.D
April 16, 2018
As part of a needs assessment, the Tarjan Center conducted a survey of the California community colleges to learn what gaps in knowledge existed regarding DSPS’ capacity to support students with autism. An analysis of the feedback we received led to the development of a webinar that addressed the following topics: 1) Student Academic Skills, 2) Student Self-Determination Skills, 3) Student Expectations, 4) Faculty Attitudinal Barriers, 5) Best Practices in Educational Assistance for Students with Autism, 6) The Educational Impacts of Autism Faculty Development Activities, and 7) Setting up and Managing Peer Tutoring and/or Peer Mentoring Programs.
Paid Internship Program by Michael Clay and Elizabeth Zastrow
March 22, 2018
The Tarjan Center provided a webinar for California Community Colleges’ Disability Support Services’ professionals on the Paid Internship Program (PIP). It is being administered by the California Department of Developmental Services. PIP provides $10,400 per intern, per year to cover wages during a paid internship. The California Blueprint for Competitive Integrated Employment and Local Partnership Agreements were discussed. A recording of the webinar may be accessed here:
Practical Strategies for Integrating Disability Support Programs into the Equity Conversation, by Bridget Herrin, Ed.D and Lindsay Eigenauer
April 27, 2017 and May 18, 2017
A webinar was provided for California Community Colleges’ Disabled Student Programs and Services Coordinators to provide an overview of the Student Equity program and to offer insights on how it relates to supporting students with disabilities. One college provided examples of how the equity program was used to provide services to assist students to complete college coursework. A recording of the webinar that was presented on May 18th can be accessed here:
Competitive Employment Incentives that May Impact the Engagement of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) by Denyse Curtright and Amy Westling
March 6, 2017
A presentation was made by staff from the Department of Developmental Services and the Association of Regional Center Agencies to the California Community Colleges on two recently authorized programs (i.e., the Competitive Integrated Employment Incentives Program, and the Paid Internship Program). Through the incentive program, up to $3,750 per California Regional Center client is available for regional center vendors who assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to transition from school to competitive integrated employment; and through the paid internship program, up to $10,400 is available per intern, each fiscal year to cover paid internship wages for a regional center client, as a pathway to competitive integrated employment. A recording of the webinar is available here:
Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) by Lindsay Eigenauer
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education may provide federal financial aid to students with intellectual disabilities. In order to obtain federal aid, the institution must be eligible and the student must be eligible. Lindsay Eigenauer presents to colleagues in higher education on the CTP application process. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here:
Advanced Strategies for Supporting Students with Autism in Inclusive Higher Education by Jane Thierfeld-Brown, Ed.D.
Friday, April 8, 2016
An increasing number of students with diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism are enrolling at higher education institutions. This webinar was provided for community college and other higher education professionals who have more than a basic understanding of some of the strategies that are used to accommodate and support students with ASD in the college environment. A recording of the webinar is available here:
Basic Strategies (101) for Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Programmatic opportunities in DSPS by Nicole Smith, Ph.D.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
California Community College administrators and disability services professionals have indicated that increasingly they have observed a larger number of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are attending college. Recent survey results indicated that training on strategies for supporting these students is needed. Dr. Nicole Smith provided a number of strategies for professionals in higher education to consider and to implement supports for students with ASD. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here:
Tailored Day Services: Because one size doesn’t fit all by Holly Tracy
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Regional Centers of California may provide services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assist with participation in postsecondary education and career development. The information provided by Holly Tracy provides insights on some of these supports that are referred to as Tailored Day Services. A recording of this webinar is available here:
Federal Financial Aid for Students with Intellectual Disabilities under the Higher Education Act of 1965 by Jessica Finkel, Ian Foss, Molly Boyle, Eric Latham and Jeff Ross
Monday, May 5, 2014
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 contained provisions for federal financial aid for students with intellectual disabilities. Jessica Finkel of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education and Ian Foss of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid provided training to describe the requirements that apply to institutions and to individuals that would qualify for federal financial aid. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here: