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Bachelor’s for Autistic Students

By Allie Grasgreen

For some students with autism, the idea of operating in the social environment of a college classroom can be so debilitating as to derail the pursuit of higher education at all. For those who do enroll, their condition can make it difficult to succeed in a traditional classroom setting.

But Dana Reinecke, in the department of applied behavior analysis at the Sage Colleges in Albany, N.Y., said she realized that through online learning, students with autism can overcome those barriers. “It allows them to learn from their most comfortable environment, whether it’s home, a library, a friend’s house, a treatment center, their psychiatrist’s office,” she said. “It takes away that need to be in a room full of people that they might be uncomfortable with.”

In January, 15 of them won’t have to. They’ll begin courses for Sage’s new all-online bachelor’s degree program, the Achieve Degree, designed specifically for students with autism or learning disabilities. The program is the first of its kind. Many colleges offer programs for people with learning disabilities, but this is the first that has said it will focus on autism in particular (while not excluding students with other conditions) and that will award a bachelor’s degree.

Continued at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/26/bachelor_s_degree_for_students_with_autism_and_learning_disabilities_launches_at_sage_colleges

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