ASCEND Program

ASCEND mission

To encourage and foster self-confidence, self-advocacy, and growing independence in college students with autism; To understand students’ strengths and weaknesses, and help them learn and apply skills and strategies to successfully navigate the communication, planning and problem-solving demands of college life.

Transition to college

There are many differences between the structure, routine, and required supports of high school compared to college. The ASCEND Program at Missouri State-West Plains seeks to provide additional support in comparison to the reasonable accommodation in the higher education setting.

Students in ASCEND receive service in four main areas: academic supports, executive functions development, social strategy supports, and daily living transitions. The program is mindful of skills needed as students transition to college life and general education coursework as well as later transitions for advanced coursework in their major and career planning.

All students who are initially admitted and agree to participate in ASCEND take part in the FULL ASCEND program. ASCEND has limited enrollment, and interview and application process, and a commitment of 8-10 hours a week from students if they are living on campus.