Montgomery College Launches Program for Autistic Students
Disability Support Services at Montgomery College formed a partnership with the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) this spring semester to offer a support program at the College. Currently there are 185 students registered at Montgomery College who are on the autism spectrum, according to Sue Haddad, collegewide DSS chairwoman.
“This is a population we are seeing an increase of students who identify with this type of disability,” Haddad said.
The new program called DORS Pathways allows eligible students on the autism spectrum to receive additional educational supports including career guidance and counseling, intensive support services, individual interventions, and small group sessions to assist students with retention and completion. To participate in the DORS Pathways Program students must be eligible for DORS services, have a DORS Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) that supports college as part of a vocational plan, and register with Disability Support Services office at the College.
Beginning spring 2015, Whitney Gray, DORS rehabilitation specialist, started to work directly with a selected number of students at the Rockville campus one day a week. Gray provides individualized support services that include working closely with the student’s DSS counselor and instructional faculty on campus as needed. Students also receive career exploration guidance, assistance with organizational and time-management skills, and participate in self-advocacy and interpersonal/communication skills training.
“A lot of times students on the autism spectrum have the academic potential to succeed but social, time management and testing taking could interfere with that success,” Haddad said.
To participate in the DORS Pathways Program students must be eligible for DORS services, have a DORS Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) that supports college as part of a vocational plan, and register with Disability Support Services office at the College. For more information about the partnership, contact Sue Haddad, Collegewide DSS Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Lee Armstrong, the DORS Pathways Coordinator at Lee.Armstrong@maryland.gov or 410.554.9173.