My Place (Autism Services)

The My Place program provides enhanced support services to students on the autism spectrum who are enrolled in Kutztown University degree programs. These services augment the supports that are provided through traditional academic accommodations and campus support services. The My Place program focuses on four major areas: executive function skills related to academics, career development, social skills, and independent college living.

Program Goals
  • Assist in the adjustment to college life by creating a sense of community and personal connection to the university
  • Develop self-advocacy skills through increased self-knowledge
  • Provide opportunities to learn and practice effective classroom etiquette and workplace readiness skills
  • Assist in the development of strategies and skills necessary for degree attainment and professional employment 
Program Levels

Residential Program (minimum 6 contact hours/week)
Students living on-campus (freshmen and transfer students) start and remain in this program for at least the first year at KU.  

The Residential Program consists of one hour of one-on-one coaching, and a minimum of three hours of structured study hall (2 X weekly for 1.5 hours), one hour of group recreation or group activity, and one-hour group meal each week.  Additionally, students are expected to participate in at least four social/group activities each semester, three special career events/conferences scheduled throughout the year, as well as at least 10 hours of volunteer work or employment during the summer months.

Commuter/Continuing Program (minimum 3 contact hours/week)
The Commuter/Continuing program is designed for freshmen and transfer commuter students as well as residential students who have participated in the Residential Program for at least one year. 

The Commuter/Continuing Program consists of one hour of one-on-one coaching, as well as two hours of career development coaching, structured study hall, group meal, or other activity depending upon the student's needs and goals. Additionally, students are expected to participate in at least two social/group activities each semester, three special career events/conferences scheduled throughout the year, as well as at least 10 hours of volunteer work or employment during the summer months.

Transition Program (approximately 1 contact hour/week)
The Transition Program is designed for students who have participated in the Residential Program or Commuter/Continuing Program and are nearing the end of their undergraduate studies. The focus of the Transition Program is on degree completion, internship/job search, graduate school planning, and transition to employment.

This program consists of bi-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions as well as other career development components. Additionally, students are invited to participate in all social/group activities as well as three special career events/conferences scheduled throughout the year.

Campus Living Features
  • Access to sensory reduced dining 
  • Access to a sensory reduced study area
  • 24-7 access to quiet/sensory room
  • Specially trained peer mentors 
  • Upon request and availability, single room residence hall option

Please note: the My Place program does not provide assistance in the residence halls with daily living skills, personal hygiene, medication monitoring, or maintenance of the personal living environment. This program also does not provide learning support/academic skill development or therapeutic services such as behavioral support or psychological counseling. 

Requirements
  • Students must document their diagnosis of autism, autism spectrum disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder by providing a clinical psychological evaluation and their most recent IEP and Re-evaluation Report that includes all diagnostic test scores. 
     
  • Students must be admitted to Kutztown University and demonstrate readiness for college-level work and living.

    Freshmen Applicants must be admitted to Kutztown University through regular admissions and demonstrate readiness for college-level work by having completed high school-level college preparatory courses in a regular education classroom setting without modifications or the support of a one-on-one or classroom aide for at least the last two years.  

    Transfer Applicants must have completed at least 2 full-time semesters and/or 24 credits of college-level work. 

    If residing on-campus applicants must demonstrate readiness for independent college living. Indicators of readiness include independently managing self-care (personal hygiene, medication schedule, sleep/wake schedule), ability to self-advocate and make daily decisions without assistance (what to wear, what to eat, how to use discretionary time), experience with sleeping away from home without family members  (i.e. camps, school trips), ability to identify and implement strategies for self-calming and managing emotions.

  • Students must complete the My Place application and participate in the interview process to determine if the My Place program is a good fit for their individual needs.
My Place Application Process

Applications for the My Place Program can be submitted upon acceptance to Kutztown University. Applications for fall entrance into the My Place Program will be reviewed on an on-going basis beginning in November of the prior year.  Applications for spring entrance will be reviewed on a rolling basis during the fall. The Disability Services staff will make My Place application decisions based upon space and program fit.  Due to limited space in the My Place Program, not all students who apply will be admitted into the program.

Please note:  Acceptance to the university does not guarantee admission to the My Place program. If your decision to attend KU is dependent upon admission to the My Place Program, do not pay your Advanced Registration Deposit (ARD) until you have received written notification of your acceptance into the My Place Program from the Disability Services.

  1. Download, complete, and submit the following forms.  This information is collected to understand the scope of accommodations and support that may be required for the student to be successful in the college environment.

    My Place Student Application
    My Place Parent Questionnaire

  2. Submit the following documentation:

  • A clinical psychological evaluation (preferably dated within 5 years of this application) indicating a primary diagnosis of autism, autism spectrum disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder.

  • A copy of your high school IEP and most recent Re-evaluation Report including all diagnostic testing, and your previous college accommodation plan, if applicable. Please include the results of any cognitive/intelligence tests, achievement tests, and assessments regarding processing speed, cognitive efficiency, visual-auditory processing, executive functioning, memory, attention, expressive-receptive language abilities, speech, and/or behavioral concerns (anxiety, depression, OCD, etc.).  

  • An unofficial copy of your high school transcript and any previous college(s)/universities, if applicable.

All documents should be submitted to the DSO by fax: 610-683-1520, email: DSO@kutztown.edu, or U.S. Mail: DSO; 215 Stratton Admin Center, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA 19530.  

Completed applications will be reviewed by the Disability Services staff. Students who have documentation that suggests the My Place Program may be a good fit for their specific needs may be invited to interview for the program. Based upon the information gathered at the interview, and from the application process, some students will be accepted into the My Place Program. Formal written notification of the decision will be made by U.S. mail and/or KU email. Once the program has reached its’ capacity, students may be placed on a waiting list until an opening becomes available.

    Program Fees

    The fees for the My Place program are as follows:

    • Residential Program (minimum 6 contact hours/week) $2500.00 per semester.
    • Commuter/Continuing Program (minimum of 3 contact hours/week) $1250.00 per semester
    • Transition Program (minimum of 1 contact hour/week) $450.00 per semester.