LUBBOCK, TX - In a ranking released by College Choice, Texas Tech University was named a top 20 school for its commitment to working with students with autism. It was also the only Texas and Big 12 college to make the cut.
Texas Tech was ranked 18 on the list. College Choice narrowed the list down by looking at the schools that are TPSID (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities) funded, meaning they are awarded grants to colleges and universities committed to serving students with ASD. From there, they analyzed which universities provide the best resources and services to their students, both academically and socially.
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research is located on the Texas Tech campus and is committed to providing the best resources available to ASD students by helping them reach their academic and career goals, as well as equipping them to live a full, independent life after college.
Dr. Wes Dotson, director of the Burkhart center, said the ranking came as a pleasant surprise and hopes it will not only bring more students to the Burkhart Center, but also help guide other universities with their ASD support programs as well.
"It's nice to know that we're getting recognition for the truly innovative and exciting things that we're doing," said Dotson. "So, the ability to be able to celebrate that and share it on a stage not only across the state, but across the country just helps celebrate the diversity of Tech and I hope increase the diversity of our recruits and the students who decide to come here because of how powerful those services are."
Dotson said that there are currently 60,000 students with ASD enrolled in Texas public schools, and that many times the deciding factor for those students and their parents in choosing the next step has been the Burkhart Center because of all of its resources available to them.
The Burkhart Center has a 76% first-year retention rate. Out of the 43 students who have been apart of the program, it has successfully produced 25 graduates and two students with graduate degrees (and one more in May). Housed in the Burkhart Center, are also the CASE, Technique centers and Transition Academy.
"What you always hope is that when people are looking for a place to send their kid to college or students are exploring where to go to college, that they're aware of the sorts of support that will make them feel welcome and apart of the community, and I think all three of our programs do that.'
The center is a lifespan center, meaning that faculty and staff work with children from the community who have autism from the age of diagnosis through adulthood.
To learn more or get involved, contact them at: 806-742-4561, or visit their site by clicking here.
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