Program Mission

The Spectrum Support Program provides innovative supports that positively impact the college experience for RIT students, particularly those with autism spectrum disorders. We are committed to helping students build the connections to RIT that will assist them in achieving academic, social and career success. The program seeks to create a campus culture of acceptance and support through collaboration, consultation, and training.

The Spectrum Support Program at RIT looks to support students and foster growth and independence in the following areas:

  • Wellness and self-care
  • Self-determination and self-advocacy
  • Social Connection
  • Academic Planning 
  • Executive Functioning
  • Career Preparation

Support is provided to enrolled students through:

  • 1:1 Coaching
  • Small group seminars
  • Social Events
  • Collaboration with cross-campus partners
  • Referrals to on-campus resources
  • Pre-orientation Programming
  • Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative



Enrollment in the Spectrum Support Program has increased over 700% since its inception in 2008 and now serves up to 100 students each year.  Initially serving primarily incoming freshman, the program has continued to develop services to support students as they navigate the transition into as well as out of RIT.  Program development has been made possible through University support, in addition to program enrollment fees, gifts and grants.

Initial Program funders

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation For Autism, Inc. logo

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation For Autism, Inc.

Funding from The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. supported the expansion of the 2008/2009 Spectrum Support Pilot Program. Specifically, grant monies were directed toward the development of a comprehensive peer coach training curriculum, design and creation of the SSP website, and program evaluation.

National Science Foundation logo

National Science Foundation

Portions of the Spectrum Support Program (SSP) were made possible through a two year National Science Foundation Enrichment Grant aimed at RIT undergraduate students with autism spectrum disorders enrolled in STEM degree programs. Two year grant funding supported case management and peer coaching services, faculty and staff training and program evaluation efforts for the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 academic years.