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PCC One of Three Colleges to Pilot Course for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Transitional Studies Department has been selected to participate in a pilot program in partnership with the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Greenville.

According to PCC Transitional Studies Director Laurie Weston, the TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education Program (T-STEP) will serve young adults (17-21 years old) with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have received a standard course of study high school diploma. She said those who take the class will learn strategies and skills needed for college and career success.

T-STEP, Weston said, covers six transition skills modules that are grouped into three intervention areas: organization and executive function skills, emotion regulation skills and social skills. She said instruction will include group practice, video modeling and role play and added that students will practice the skills they acquire in class at a volunteer internship site each week.

Weston said students will also receive career, higher education and self-advocacy counseling.

There is no cost to participate in T-STEP at Pitt, which is one of only three North Carolina community colleges that will take part in the pilot program, along with Wake Technical Institute and Central Piedmont. Program funding, Weston said, comes through a $12,900-grant awarded to Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Individuals interested in taking part in the program may contact Weston at (252) 493-7439 or Elena Lamarche with the UNC TEACCH Autism Program at (919) 962-3303.