An Assessment of Personal Readiness for College with ASD

In a previous blog I wrote about the topic of readiness within higher education to support college students with Asperger’s Disorder. The series touched on the ability of colleges to provide effective academic, social, and independent living supports. The “Benchmarks of Effective Supports for College Students with Asperger’s Disorder,” a tool to assess readiness of a specific institution, was provided.

But how can individual ASD students know that they are ready for college?

We at Marshall University receive numerous applications for our college support program. In fact, each year we typically receive more applications than we have spots to fill. So early on we developed an in-house tool to help assess the personal readiness of each applicant.

While not a valid assessment tool, this “Applicant Evaluation” may be a good instrument to use to assess basic readiness. At the very least it can inform the dialogue around the topic. Click on the downloadable link below for the full assessment:

Applicant Assessment

This assessment rates readiness on a 1(low) to 5 (high) scale related to:

  • Academics
  • Independent Living
  • Socialization
  • Safety
  • Sexuality
  • Stress
  • Personal Insight

Questions within each category are designed to provide insight into an individual’s ability to live safely and effectively in a campus community. Some are designed to get at very subtle – but necessary – skills.

For example, in the Academic section one item rates the ability to “alert professors or tutors if an absence is necessary”. Another rates if the student “will engage in commonly understood and appropriate classroom etiquette”.

Again, the tool is not a valid instrument and it’s not intended to be used as such. It simply highlights areas of strength and need, and directs conversation to the basic skills necessary to live successfully within a campus community.

by Marc Ellison

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