- If your high school has a guidance counselor who can help you with the college process, meet with them by the beginning of junior year to ask for advice.
- Use these two college search tools to narrow your list based on location, size, majors, services, cost, etc.:
- Many high schools also provide all students with Naviance, a college and career readiness online tool.
- It can be helpful to visit the college’s websites to research further. Use the Guiding Questions for Post-Secondary Education to keep track of the answers for each college you research.
- If you are looking for a technical or vocational program, visit the Ohio Technical Schools Directory.
- You may also want to check on the new Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) program Ohio College2Careers offered at 15 public colleges and universities in Ohio to help students with disabilities.
A Note about Special ASD College Programs
There are a growing number of colleges and universities that have ASD specific programs. They usually have an additional cost but have enhanced supports and services. This is different than non-degree programs a number of universities are offering for students with ASD.
This website provides a list of college programs that have support services.
When and how should I plan my college visits?
- Once you have selected a handful of schools and programs that you feel is the right fit, it is now time to plan a visit.
- Start visiting colleges junior year of high school including the summer before senior year and into the fall of senior year.
- Plan a college campus tour or attend the schools/programs open house to get a better feel for what that campus life is like.
- Before your visit, schedule a meeting with the Disability Services Director to make sure that you and your teen are comfortable with that person. We recommend that the student run the meeting with the director. (They may need some coaching first to feel comfortable doing so). Running the meeting means describing the supports that the student has needed in the past and what their area of special needs are. Allowing the student to run the meeting is important for building the self-advocacy skills they will need in college.
- You can utilize our Guiding Questions for Post-Secondary Education for ideas of questions you want to ask during this meeting.
- We also suggest becoming familiar with all of the supports offered at the school/program so that you can connect with them as needed. These would include tutors, math and writing centers, study groups, “success coaches”, social groups, additional ASD support programs, etc.
- You should visit the departments of interest and talk to their professors/teachers and students. You can also request to sit in on a class and talk with students prior or following. You could also ask the disability services department to pair you with a fellow student for the tour, and if possible to speak with a fellow student who is accessing disability services to hear about their experience at the college.
- If you will be living in a dorm, you can usually take a campus tour that includes seeing a typical dorm.