ATLAS Program

Autism Transitions for Learning Achievement and Support

Program Description

The ATLAS Program provides Slippery Rock University students with autism spectrum diagnosis a wide variety of support, resources and events to ensure a successful transition into, through and out of their college experience.

This is accomplished through academic, social, communication, career and general life-skill assistance. This involves individual and group events throughout the week focused on fostering experiences and building skills that will create a road map for a student's time at SRU and ultimately into a successful career.

The ATLAS Program consists of individual coach­ing, group meal times, physical wellness sessions, open times and places for studying, social events and general coaching.

Component Description

INDIVIDUAL COACHING
Each week, the student will meet with an Office of Disability Services staff member to discuss how the program is working for them. Whether it involves a visit in to our office, working together at a club meeting, visiting with another professional on campus or something completely different, the meeting is centered around the student. Potential outcome of these meetings could include advocacy training, positive coping skills, self-care skills, career preparation, time management or communication techniques.

PEER MENTORING
In addition to individual coaching with one of our Office of Disability Services staff members, student participants in the ATLAS program will be paired with a peer mentor. All peer mentors will be enrolled as a current student at Slippery Rock University who will serve as a positive social and academic role model. He/she will provide the support and encouragement that is needed to be a successful well-rounded student within our campus environment. Meetings with peer mentors will take place twice a week and will focus on engaging in conversation, promoting socialization, and providing the necessary experiences that will assist in a successful transition through college and into the work force.

MEAL MONDAYS
Each Monday, students have the option to share a meal together on campus. We will provide an inclusive environment where all students can socialize with one another.

FITNESS FRIDAYS
Each Friday, students can access the Aebersold Recreation Center or take advantage of other opportunities for physical activity in a relaxed group setting. Having students engage in a variety of activities may help them find something they enjoy and stay active, now and in the future.

OPEN STUDY SESSIONS
Having a place to study quietly or relax is vital to a student's academic success. Our program aims to provide a study space for students in the ATLAS program to feel comfortable. The space will be flexible to their needs and will change with their ideas about what works for them.

GROUP EVENTS
There are a lot of great opportunities on campus, in the Slippery Rock community and beyond. We want to connect students to events that will provide them a variety of settings to practice the skills they are learning.

GENERAL SUPPORT
Our mission is to help our students succeed, but there are unexpected factors that may occur. With that in mind, we are available to assist students in the ATLAS program when those situations occur.

Process

When students with an autism spectrum diagnosis register for accommodations through the Office of Disability Services they will be immediately invited to participate in the ATLAS Program.

If interested, the student will be asked to schedule a Navigation Meeting with our ATLAS staff to see how we can best support the student's needs. You must be a registered student in the Office of Disability Services to participate in the ATLAS Program.

VOLUNTEER PEER MENTOR

As a component of our ATLAS program, the Office of Disability Services will occasionally be seeking current SRU students to serve as peer mentors. For information about what this position requires and to access the application, please click here. Once completed, please turn in your application and required materials to the Office of Disability Services located in room 105 at the University Union.

For more information about the ATLAS Program, contact:

Natalie Burick, Director
Office: 724.738.4877
Direct: 724.738.4810
natalie.burick@sru.edu

Kim Coffaro, Assistant Director
Office: 724.738.4877
Direct: 724.738.4245
kim.coffaro@sru.edu