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February 20, 2020

Adelphi Named a Best College for Students on the Autism Spectrum

by Taylor Damian '14

Adelphi takes great pride in creating a safe and supportive learning environment that is accessible to all students, especially those who are on the autism spectrum. As a reflection of this commitment, Great Value Colleges has named Adelphi one of the 50 Best Colleges for Students with Autism. The University is ranked number 10 on their 2020 list.

Great Value Colleges based its rating largely on our award-winning Bridges to Adelphi program. For students who are on the spectrum, the transition from high school to college may be a difficult one. Bridges offers individualized comprehensive academic, social and vocational services to students who are on the spectrum or have a nonverbal learning disability or difficulties with executive functioning or socialization. These services are designed to make the transition from high school to college easier.

“Adelphi University is also always looking for new ways to cater to its students who have autism,” said Great Value Colleges. “For instance, in 2018, it broke new ground by opening a sensory room, with a sensory wall, soft floors, a pouch swing, beanbag chairs and low lighting. This was the first room of its kind specifically opened for students with autism at a college campus.”

The Bridges program, started by Mitch Nagler, MA ’06, director of the program, in 2007, began with just three students enrolled. This year, there are 101 students. Support for the Bridges students doesn’t end after graduation; the program continues to support its many alumni, helping them to find suitable employment, which can be a challenge.

“Our goal is that, upon graduation, all students who have been enrolled in the Bridges program should have the opportunity to find meaningful employment in the area they have studied, and be paid competitive wages, so they can live independent and successful lives,” said Nagler.

Over the past four years, the program has focused on vocational training and job placement and has developed excellent collaborations with corporate partners, such as Northwell Health and Broadridge Financial Solutions, which offer summer internships to students. Some employers have even offered our Bridges interns full-time jobs after graduation.

“When I started attending college, I was very nervous about whether or not I would be able to adjust to it, since I have had issues before with my anxiety and school-based stress,” said a current Bridges student. “However, I have found the Bridges program at Adelphi to be very accommodating in helping me to manage my work and anxiety, as well as helping me to engage socially with other students through its various social groups.”

“We are so happy to receive national recognition for the work that we do to support our students,” said Nagler. “We strongly believe in our approach of working with students as unique individuals in order to help them define their success in the classroom, on campus, in careers and communities, and beyond.”

Learn more about the Bridges to Adelphi program.


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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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Todd Wilson
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