The College Support Program (CSP) supports Rutgers University students as they begin, continue and prepare to graduate from the University. It is a comprehensive program that assists students through provision of direct service and collaboration with University services that address executive functioning, social competence, academic skills, self-care, self-advocacy and career preparation.
Students must first be accepted to the University before they can apply to the CSP. The CSP is run under the direction of Rutgers Student Health – Counseling, Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program, and Psychiatric Services (CAPS).
The CSP works collaboratively with Rutgers University’s Offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Disability Services, Academic Deans, Learning Centers, Counseling Center (CAPS), Career Services, Student Employment, Residence Life, Student Life, Deans of Students and as necessary, program advisors and faculty.
The CSP offers the following:
- Weekly meetings with the coordinator
- Assistance with defining academic, organizational, and life goals
- Strategies to meet identified goals
- Trained Peer Mentors
- Social Events
- Parent Workshops
- Referrals & Follow-Up with academic and support services
- Referrals for psychotherapy or counseling when requested
Services through the CSP also include:
- Identifying and using social skills appropriate for university and adult life
- Individualized orientation to navigating campus transportation
- Accessing campus resources
- Learning to reside with room- and floor-mates
- Managing life skills (e.g. domestic, banking, hygiene)
- Participating in on- and off-campus activities
- Managing academic coursework
- Planning and preparing for employment
Admittance to the CSP requires an additional application that is separate from your Rutgers Admissions application. The CSP program fee is in addition to tuition costs and student fees.
If you feel you can benefit from the CSP, please complete the Program Application to begin the process.
Donations raised by Rutgers Young Alumni Association enable the CSP to provide a small scholarship fund to cover the program fee. To apply for a needs-based scholarship for the CSP’s program fee, please submit the Scholarship Application. The submission deadline for the Fall 2018 semester is July 30, 2018.
This video profile of CSP provides a great overview of our program.
Watch Brittany and Paul discuss the CSP mentor/mentee relationship.
The experience of being a peer mentor was not what I expected, it was better.
– Michael Nanfara ‘14, Peer Mentor
I think this is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Doing this has solidified what I’m going to college for and what I want to do with the rest of my life.
– Kimberly Hanks ‘16, Peer Mentor
This program has given me the opportunity to be a part of a great group of people. I am fortunate enough to learn more about autism and become more aware of the topic. This opportunity is once in a lifetime and I am learning more every day.
– LaShawn Adams ‘15, Peer Mentor
The College Support Program surpassed our expectations! [Our son] has the most appropriate support for his anxiety and learning challenges since the start of his college career in 2008. The coordinator identified his issues and created appropriate strategies to address them. She was effective and tireless! The peer mentor program was also very successful for [him]. In the past, we relied on a tutor for a “point of performance” person, but here at Rutgers, the peer mentors served the same function while not making [him] feel frustrated about needing so much professional support. We are very grateful for the progress you have helped [our son] achieve! Thank you!
– Karen K., Parent/Guardian
FAQs on the College Support Program (CSP)
Below are just some of the common questions asked about the CSP. If you have other questions not answered below, or would like further information, please contact us.
The program is designed to be a bridge for students on the autism spectrum as they learn to identify and access the community and support services of the university.
The CSP coordinator and student have an initial meeting each semester to identify the student’s needs and interests. With support from the CSP coordinator, the student develops goals that will build academic, social, executive functioning, and/or life skills. The CSP coordinator and student meet once or more per week throughout the semester to review the student’s progress, build skills and address new areas of concern. In addition to meetings, the CSP coordinator, students, and peer mentors use email, text messages, and/or phone calls to keep in touch and monitor progress.
How do students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get connected with the resources of a large university, such as the Office of Disability Services, Counseling Center, Residence Life, Learning Centers, Career Services, faculty, deans and academic advisors, to name a few?
The CSP coordinator will assist the student in identifying the services s/he may need, ensure student contact with the correct office and then provide follow-through support as needed.
Yes. This is done through matching with one or more peer mentors, interfacing with university faculty and staff, using course-specific chat rooms, joining clubs and interest groups.
They are typically sophomores, juniors and seniors at Rutgers University who are trained and supervised to assist CSP students in the program as they adjust to university life. Mentors have a wide variety of majors. CSP students may have more than one mentor.
Yes. There are formal and informal opportunities for small and large group social activities.
Yes. Students are taught strategies and tools to plan their time and to prioritize their work by consulting with faculty members, academic advisors and systematically referencing both Rutgers University course and degree management software. Many students receive additional academic coaching through the Learning Centers. The coaches and CSP coordinators collaborate services.
How do you support a student who is anxious and resistant to approaching a professor, dean, administrator, or staff member at the university?
The CSP coordinator will support the student as s/he identifies the steps necessary to making the appointment. The CSP coordinator will then help the student prepare for the meeting and accompany the student if necessary.
Yes. The CSP prepares and assists students to ask questions/seek information about class environments relative to their sensory concerns.
CSP students can choose to live on or off campus. Those living in University housing may be placed on any of the five campuses in residence halls or apartments. Students may request a roommate(s) or a single room. The CSP coordinator, peer mentors, and University staff work with students to build tolerance, negotiation and advocacy skills with peers, residence assistants (RA’s) and people in related University offices.
Yes. Intake sessions usually involve the family, as does the end-of-year review session held at the end of the spring semester. Periodic workshops are prepared for parents and, with student approval, the coordinator will contact parents as needed.
Is application to the College Support Program part of the application process to Rutgers University?
No. They are separate processes. After a student meets Rutgers University’s admissions requirements, s/he may apply to the CSP, which is implemented through Rutgers Student Health Counseling, Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services (CAPS).
Yes. The services are funded by a per semester fee of $3,500, which is billed through the Rutgers Student Health business office. The CSP fee is separate from Rutgers University tuition and fees. It is recommended that students remain in the CSP program for a minimum of two consecutive semesters.
The most direct source of information is to use the URL http://rhscaps.rutgers.edu/CSP.
The College Support Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum is part of Rutgers Student Health – Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS). When going to http://rhscaps.rutgers.edu or the Rutgers – New Brunswick home page and searching for CAPS, a full range of clinical services can be reviewed.