Peer Mentoring Project for University Students with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Related Challenges
California State University, Fresno Foundation
Because there are only two counselors in the SSD office who serve almost 600 students, it is sometimes not possible to address the needs of students with PDD who need more of a one-on-one weekly approach. Therefore, the SSD office is currently devising a peer-mentor program to give students with PDD more attention and individualized coaching. While the curriculum for peer training for this program is still being developed, it will borrow, with permission, from programs available to students with PDD at other universities (e.g., Drexel University) and from a program entitled Achieving in Higher Education with Autism/Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD). A key component to the peer-mentoring program at CSUF will be its emphasis on person-centered, rather than other-directed, service. The program will be based on a philosophy of reciprocal teaching and learning, and the program’s acceptance by participants with PDD will be a major criterion in evaluating effectiveness.