Link to Kirkwood Community College

The Focused Skill Training (FST) program at Kirkwood is a support program for students with autism spectrum disorder.

The FST program is an extra layer of support in addition to the academic accommodations for students with high functioning autism spectrum disorder, including Asperger's syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, and other related disabilities. FST staff work with students to create an individualized plan for each student by integrating Kirkwood resources, community partnerships and research-based interventions.

Students in the program are expected to have the academic ability to complete college-level coursework. Students also should have a good understanding of their own abilities, their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to complete most tasks on their own with some support. Students will receive support from an educational coach, who will help them develop academic and social goals and provide training to help improve the student's skills.

The types of support the education coach can provide to students includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Academic skills: time management, organization, executive function, assignment/grade management
     
  • Social skills: verbal and non-verbal communication, appropriate behaviors and understanding the hidden social rules
     
  • Self-advocacy
     
  • Professional relationship skills: working with instructors, coworkers, etc.
     
  • Relationship skills: Improving skills for friendships, roommates, dating
     
  • Job Skills: starting the application process, resumes, interviewing
     
  • Daily living skills: money management/budgeting, personal hygiene, healthy meal planning, etc.
     
FST staff is available Monday through Friday, typically from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. FST staff are not able to provide support off campus to students.

Program participation is voluntary and there is no additional cost to be in the program.

Students must secure their own housing and transportation arrangements.
 

How to get involved:

  • Apply to Kirkwood and register for at least two college classes.
     
  • Request accommodations through the Learning Services department at www.kirkwood.edu/accommodations and provide documentation of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
     
  • Meet with one of the FST staff to learn more about the program and to enroll.

For more information regarding the FST program or to request a meeting, contact:

Focused Skill Training Program
319-398-7752
Alt. 319-398-5574

Amanda Thompson
Specialist, Accommodation Services & Assistive Technology
319-398-5439
amanda.thompson@kirkwood.edu

Barbara Mussman
Manager, Accommodation Services
319-398-5454
barb.mussman@kirkwood.edu