Marshall University

1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, WV, 25755

On account of Autism Awareness Day, ASD Ascend is making all of the information on The College Program at Marshall University available to website visitors. Click on the feature titles to reveal the detailed information pertaining to the autism spectrum program. The College Program has received the Platinum Achievement Badge which means it offers the most comprehensive level of support services for college students with autism.

The ASD Ascend database provides detailed information on all of the schools listed in the database, click here to become a subscriber and gain access to all of this information.

COVID Update: On account of Covid-19, students will be required to wear face coverings in the classroom. Please check the university website for updates on their autism spectrum program.

College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University (The College Program)

Achievement Badge: Platinum

This program has a platinum achievement badge.

Academic support may include: course advising, based on the learning strengths, abilities, and interests of each student; students, program staff, and team members working together to determine reasonable accommodations beneficial to each student; strategies designed to teach students organizational skills; providing information to professors regarding the most effective manner for teaching specific students; and consistent, often weekly, interaction with professors. The autism spectrum program offers study halls seven days a week with dedicated academic support.

The College Program conducts skills groups that cover topics involving executive functioning skills, such as: time management, scheduling, organizing, prioritizing, and goal setting.

The College Program conducts skills groups that provide students with a social network where they can connect with others. The topics include: dialogue vs. monologue; undersharing and oversharing; relationships; finding balance; trying to understand others’ thoughts, motivations, and intentions; noticing others’ moods and reactions; working out others’ wishes and preferences; how to start and keep up a conversation; understanding body language; and small talk. There is a men’s social skills group, too.

The College Program has a specific skills group dedicated to career preparation along with one-on-one support to assist with employment during students’ academic career and one year of support post-graduation

The College Program has licensed mental health counselors who are trained in autism to provide individual and group therapy to students on a weekly basis.

The College Program staff regularly take off-hours calls to help students and communicate with parents.

Each semester, The College Program staff provides information to personnel in the Residence Services Offices about autism spectrum disorder and the most effective ways to interact with students who have autism spectrum disorder. Staff from the two offices work closely to ensure the quality of life for students involved in The College Program remains high, and that challenges are anticipated and addressed in a progressive manner.

The College Program provides independent living supports, which may include: teaching effective daily living skills, supporting students as they navigate through the day-to-day needs of a college lifestyle, assisting students as they navigate residence life, assistance and encouragement regarding an active involvement in both on- and off-campus communities, and the development of support strategies to assist students in being more independent in those environments.

There is a Summer Transition Program available to rising high school seniors, recent high school graduates, or incoming Marshall University students who desire to use this time to transition into the university or take classes along their approved academic plan. Students enroll in a college-level course of their choice. The priority is to experience college life in a safe environment and ease the transition from high school to college when the time comes. Students also practice independent living by living in a dormitory room. Additionally, participating students are assigned a mentor who is responsible for frequent communication with professors, resident life, and college program staff on behalf of students. The summer program’s daily activities will be individualized and planned in advance. The summer program includes lecture time, facilitated study hall time, and social skill group sessions. Organized outings are to be determined based on the session enrolled and the interests of the participants.

The staff of The College Program consists of fourteen to eighteen graduate assistant mentors, five student support specialists, two licensed mental health counselors, and a program director.

All students receive a mentor who is a graduate student. The graduate student mentors are under the direction of full-time staff.

The program requires a clinical psychological evaluation within three years of the application to determine eligibility.

Cost Type: Fixed/Set Cost
Cost Per Semester: $5,000
Cost Description: 

The complete program is $5,000 per semester, which may include daily check-ins depending on the needs of the student. The summer program fee is $1,500 per session. Students may elect to limit their participation exclusively to social groups. The cost for participation in the social groups is $500.

The College Program staff collaborates with in-state and out-of-state departments of rehabilitation to try to secure funding for services.

The College Program staff model self-advocacy skills in the first year. By senior year, students will have developed these skills.

The College Program offers flexibility regarding parent communication. The program provides monthly reports to parents that include academic, social, behavior, and independent living updates.

Seventy-five percent of students participating in The College Program graduate with a degree.

Program Established


Students Currently Enrolled



Dr. Hillary Adams

Director of Campus-Based Services

(304) 696-2332

Program Website

Institution Type

Public, 4-year

Student Population

Undergrads: 9,593
Total: 13,204

Faculty : Student Ratio


ACT Score

25% to 75% range

19 - 25

SAT Score

25% to 75% range

910 - 1130

ACT or SAT are required