“Think Like a Business” & Other Lessons Learned: Internship Programming for Students with ASD

Author: JAMILAH ANDERSON

As an Associate Director in George Mason University’s Disability Services, I play two roles- Disability Services specialist and Program Director of The Mason Autism Support Initiative (MASI). MASI is a fee-based, comprehensive support program for degree-seeking students at GMU who are diagnosed with ASD. The program provides individualized supports and services beyond standard accommodations to participants in the areas of social engagement, academic success and career development. In addition to receiving direct services each week, students register for a ½ credit skill-building course co-taught by me and the program’s Assistant Director. Although courses have some similar content areas as other courses available to all students on-campus, these courses are tailored to support students in MASI. We plan and co-teach 4 courses (100 level through 400 level) each semester and a 7-week Peer Leadership course for new Peer Mentors who will be working with students on social engagement.