Autism Services (My Place)

Kutztown University encourages academically qualified students with disabilities to participate in its educational program and 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 and development of a career plan
  • 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 focus of the Residential Program is on the adjustment to college living, engagement in campus activities, development of study habits and strategies, classroom etiquette, self-advocacy, and career development. 

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 focus of the Commuter/Continuing Program is on self-advocacy, study habits, classroom and workplace etiquette, and career development.

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 (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 one hour of one-on-one coaching or career development coaching. 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
  • Single room residence hall option (upon request/availability)
  • Access to sensory reduced dining 
  • Access to a sensory reduced study area
  • 24-7 access to quiet/sensory room
  • Specially trained peer mentors 

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 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 completing 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 of college-level work and have at least 24 transferable credits. (Please note: developmental college courses that prepare students for college-level work generally offered in English, Math, Reading, and Academic Literacy will not transfer to KU and will not fulfill the My Place requirement for 24 credits.)

    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 document the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder by providing psychological evaluation and most recent IEP and Evaluation Report that includes all diagnostic test scores.
  • 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.
Application Process

Download the My Place Student Application Process and Form. 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 in an on-going process 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 Office.

    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.