Student Experience & Outcomes Division first college department to earn the designation
Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Student Experience & Outcomes (SE&O) division is now an official Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ (CNW). Awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the program is designed to help the division work effectively with neurodivergent team members and students, including those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodivergences.
“Adding this award to our collection of ACC achievements is a great honor. At ACC, we take pride in our unwavering commitment to supporting individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those who are neurodivergent,” says Dr. Monique Umphrey, ACC provost. “This recognition proves that we are wholeheartedly dedicated to honoring that commitment. ACC’s Student Experience & Outcomes division continues to lead the way. As the landscape of higher education evolves, ACC remains at the forefront, leading the way in adapting to these changes and serving all community members”
National data indicate individuals who are neurodivergent often face a higher risk of chronic unemployment or long-term underemployment. Recognizing this challenge, the SE&O Division has established unique programming and training to enhance student success, promote college completion, and facilitate equitable employment outcomes for student populations facing disproportionate barriers.
“This recognition from IBCCES highlights the dedication and hard work of the Austin Community College Student Experience & Outcomes division. We firmly believe in the power of inclusivity and the immense potential of our neurodivergent students,” says Amber Kelley, ACC SE&O executive dean. “Through the CNW designation and our ongoing commitment to neurodiversity training, we are confident that our students will receive the support they need to thrive academically, personally, and professionally.”
In an effort to foster inclusivity within the ACC GROW student-worker program, which includes the entire SE&O team, staff underwent neurodiversity training facilitated by the IBCCES. This comprehensive training equipped employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to support neurodiverse students effectively.
More than 55 ACC employees who supervise and coach student-workers also attained the IBCCES Certified Neurodiversity Professional (CNP) certification. The impact of SE&O’s commitment to inclusivity for neurodiverse students extends across various departments. The division encompasses the Student Government Association (SGA) & civics labs, Student Life, Transfer Services, Transformative Interventions Programming, Career Services, Employer Relations, student digital fluency training, and an efficacy & impact research unit. By integrating neurodiversity principles throughout these areas, the SE&O team is now better prepared to provide personalized support to student workers and can utilize best practices in creating a more inclusive environment. The office is the first at the college to receive such a designation.
“IBCCES is incredibly proud to recognize Austin Community College’s SE&O division’s dedication to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students. With a growing number of people identifying as neurodivergent in today’s society, it is crucial that more organizations heed the call to prioritize inclusive practices and understanding,” says Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “As an organization, IBCCES is honored to lead the charge in promoting neurodiversity, offering innovative programs that positively impact countless lives. Together, let us strive for a future where every individual, regardless of neurodivergence, is embraced and empowered to reach their full potential.”
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been a leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. To ensure continued learning and a lasting impact, IBCCES programs include evidence-based content, autistic individuals’ perspectives, ongoing support, renewal requirements, and other resources.
About Austin Community College:
Austin Community College District celebrates 50 years of service in 2023. ACC is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. The college is focused on student success and building brighter futures through upward mobility. Through collaborative partnerships and innovative learning programs, ACC provides affordable, flexible pathways to help everyone reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their career. The college enrolls more than 70,000 students annually.
Committed to providing The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.
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