Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Student Experience & Outcomes (SE&O)

Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Student Experience & Outcomes (SE&O)

Individuals who are neurodivergent have a higher risk of chronic unemployment or long-term underemployment. Because Austin Community College’s Student Experience & Outcomes (SE&O) division seeks to support all students in unleashing their full potential in order to make their contributions to the world, SE&O has put in place unique programming to bolster student success, college completion, and equitable employment outcomes for student populations facing disproportionate barriers.

Transformation Coaching and the ACC GROW student-worker program are two SE&O programs that are proving beneficial to our neurodivergent students. At ACC, Transformation Coaches apply their in-depth knowledge of specific population(s), a unique skills set, and in-depth expertise to develop effective success strategies and provide specialized holistic coaching, training, and advocacy to improve the academic and life trajectories of students facing complex challenges. Transformation Coach Samantha Thomson, who specializes in neurodiversity, has a Master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorder, holds advanced certification as an Autism Specialist, is a Certified Neurodiverse Professional (CNP), has attained the Global Career Development Facilitator credential, and has a background in school-to-work transition services for individuals with disabilities.

To ensure inclusivity in our ACC GROW student-worker program, approximately 75 employees (and 100% of the SE&O team) engaged in neurodiversity sensitivity training through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). More than 55 employees who supervise and/or coach student-workers also became IBCCES Certified Neurodiverse Professionals (CNP). Not only are they better equipped to support student-workers, but also can consult and train ACC colleagues and local employers in best practices. The impact in holistic support and inclusivity of our neurodiverse students is far-reaching considering that SE&O encompasses Student Government (SGA) & Civics Labs, Student Life, Transfer Services, Transformational Intervention Programming, Career Services, Employer Relations, student digital fluency training, and an intervention efficacy & impact research unit.

With the support of Dr. Umphrey and through a grant from the DEI office, SE&O also sponsored student-facing employment-related colleagues in the Make-It Center, ACC Works (peer-to-peer campus employment services), and the DEI office in sensitivity training and CNP certifications as well. As the first division within ACC to earn recognition from IBCCES as a Certified Neurodiverse Workplace (CNW), SE&O would like to lead and support our College in becoming the first community college in the United States to secure the Certified Neurodiverse Workplace (CNW) credential. If you are interested in participating in this training, please contact Transformative Interventions Programs Manager, Melissa Victor Totah.

Austin Community College District 6101 Highland Campus Drive, Austin, Texas, TX, United States, 78752