Summer Tech Camp Offers Weeklong College Experience to Teens with Autism
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is proud to partner with Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and New Way Academy to host the G33K College Prep Summer Camp, the only program of its kind created specifically for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to take place the week of July 23 – 29, at University of Advancing Technology’s Tempe campus.
Many individuals on the spectrum love computers and possess a skill set well-suited for a career in technology or engineering. Without this camp, there are dozens of young adults who may think that attending college is out of their reach. Because of UAT’s focus on culture and socialization, camp participants are more likely to feel at home.
“The UAT Tech Camp offers a perfectly inclusive and naturalistic learning environment. Every aspect of the campers’ day provides an opportunity to try a different skill needed for college life and for assimilation into the workforce in the future. UAT’s atmosphere is ideal for this program because their faculty and staff have the experience and training to responsibly and effectively nurture our students,” said Brad Herron-Valenzuela, Transition Academy Instructor at SARRC.
During this weeklong camp, SARRC and New Way Academy camp participants will have the opportunity to complete the college admissions process, reside in Founder’s Hall dormitory, attend classes, collaborate in teams, use new technology, complete a group project, eat meals at the university café and take part in student life activities.
The G33K College Prep Summer Camp accepts 10 participants, ranging in age from 16 to 26. The participants fall into three categories: those who are looking to go on to college, those with some college experience and may plan to enroll in the future and those who have never attended college and may lack the confidence to participate in the college experience.
“We look forward to our fourth year of partnering with UAT and welcome our new community partner, New Way Learning Academy. With elements that touch on all aspects of the college experience, our participants are given an inclusive and impactful opportunity to try out college. The results of these experiences can guide and shape future post-secondary academic endeavors,” said Paige Raetz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Transition Academy Director at SARRC.
Participants gain a deeper understanding of all the skills needed for a successful college experience: admissions, academics, extra-curricular activities, life skills and social gatherings with other college students.
“Without an opportunity to learn how to navigate the college experience, these young adults may find creative STEM jobs to be out of their reach. This is why I am so excited about UAT partnership with SARRC. We are great at mentoring and growing individuals in a tech space. Because of UAT’s approach, camp participants are more likely to feel at home in college settings and ready to take that next step in their lives, pursuing a degree and finding a career that fills a genuine economic need,” said UAT Provost Dr. David Bolman.
At the conclusion of the program, camp participants will celebrate their achievements with family members during a graduation and group project presentation ceremony. After the camp, participants will be offered an online class that they can take on an open entry and exit basis to practice their college skills. Participants who complete the course will then receive college credit.
About SARRC: Established in 1997, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) is an internationally recognized, community-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to autism research, education, evidence-based treatment and community outreach. SARRC is one of the only autism organizations in the world that provides a lifetime of services for individuals and their families while conducting cutting-edge research. For more information about SARRC, visit autismcenter.org.
About New Way Academy:
New Way Academy is Arizona’s premier independent K-12 school specializing in students with learning differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, and executive functioning difficulties. Small class sizes, individualized instruction and on-campus therapists empower learning in the classroom. Our large campus with sports and numerous after-school activities promotes building friendships and learning outside the classroom. For more information, please visit www.newwayacademy.org.
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is a private university offering an immersion for the elite of technology, those with the most passion, all of whom are prepared and focused to achieve their highest potential within their chosen discipline. In addition to contemporary residence halls and 100% STEM degrees, the university is proud to offer the most comprehensive suite of game majors and is the first in the nation to award degrees in cyber security, business technology, and digital maker and fabrication. UAT’s urban campus in Tempe, Arizona is a technology nexus; a collection of technophiles, geeks and mavens of the digital world ever evolving into top technology executives, master programmers, cyber warriors, forensic sleuths, robotic engineers, interactive filmmakers, and game innovators for entertainment and government animation applications. www.uat.edu
Lauren Fach, UAT Public Relations