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Connecting to College

The Connecting to College (CtC) program provides additional support for UHCL students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related needs to facilitate students’ retention and success at the university. The program is part of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and partners with the Student Success Center, Disability Services, Counseling Services, and Career Services to provide a team-based approach to supporting CtC students.

Connecting to College (CtC) provides three different levels of support to students based on student need and program resources. These services are provided at no cost to students or families.  CtC also provides trainings and consultations for the wider UHCL community. 

Connecting to College Interest Form

Student Support Level 1: General Student Support

This first level of support is open to all students and aims to connect students with student support services available on campus. CtC serves as a central hub by facilitating communication between all support services the student accesses in order to provide an interconnected support system. In Level 1, students meet with their CtC transition specialist a minimum of twice per semester to ensure that they are accessing resources that will assist them in meeting their goals. Students also participate in CtC group meetings every two weeks to discuss their daily experiences as UHCL students and build community.

Student Support Level 2: Social and Behavioral Support

Some CtC students may benefit from additional support that is not already available through the current student support departments. A student may be eligible to participate in Level 2 if additional support related to the social and behavioral expectations of college would contribute to their success. In addition to participating in Level 1, a student participating in Level 2 meets with a CtC transition specialist to identify specific skills that would help the student reach their goals while at UHCL. Once the student and transition specialist identify skills to improve, the student meets with the transition specialist once or twice per week throughout the semester to practice improving those skills.

Student Support Level 3: Crisis Support

In certain situations, a CtC or non-CtC student may need immediate assistance with a specific issue. This may include situations such as inappropriate conduct in the classroom or behavior resulting in disciplinary action. It may also include personal or academic crisis. Students participating in Level 3 meet with a CtC transition specialist to evaluate the current situation. The transition specialist then works with the student and other individuals involved to resolve the current situation and prevent similar situations in the future.

Faculty and Staff Consultations

CtC transition specialists are available for consultations with faculty and staff regarding students with ASD or with similar needs that may need additional support. The CtC transition specialist can suggest strategies to promote student success and reduce disruptive behaviors.

Campus Trainings

The program also provides trainings for the wider UHCL community (faculty, staff, students) to better understand and support students with ASD. Trainings are offered throughout the year for the larger UHCL Community and can also be requested for specific groups.

Numerous  faculty, staff, and students have completed the Autism Allies training and committed to being allies to our UHCL students with ASD.

More Information

Please take a moment to view an interview with Christie Stiehl about the program and share our brochure with individuals who might be interested in this program.

Connecting to College provides individualized supports for students with ASD or similar needs who are participating in the program. To request more information, contact or please fill out an interest form.


Director: Dorothea Lerman, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Transition Specialist: Lorena Galven


  • Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

    Phone: 281-283-3452
    Fax: 281-283-3510

    Arbor South
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 245
    Houston, TX 77058-1002