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Iowa State partnership hires specialized skills support coordinator

Iowa+State+partnership+hires+specialized+skills+support+coordinator
Ashton Tack

The Iowa State Academic Success Center (ASC) has partnered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to hire an academic coordinator for neurodiverse students seeking guidance.

In September, Katie Platts was hired as the ASC’s specialized skills support coordinator, a position that Platt said aims to provide additional academic guidance for neurodiverse students at Iowa State.

Platts’ position has been approved for the current fiscal year to provide neurodiverse students with resources, which can be extended depending on data gathered throughout the year.

Adriana Gonzalez-Elliott, the director of the Academic Success Center, stressed the importance of Iowa State continuing to fund the position.

“What I’m really hoping for is that we can demonstrate the effectiveness of it and the need of it,” Gonzalez-Elliott said. “I think it’s going to be really impactful.”

Platts said it was important for students to reach out for assistance if they need it.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100, it goes really well,” Platts said. “Very rarely do students find that reaching out was a bad thing to do. They’re usually really happy that they did it.”

In this role, Platts said she has seen a positive impact on students seeking resources.

“A lot of the students who I see want to be there and are very open to trying new things,” Platts said. “They’re also a lot more independent, which is really cool.”

Platts works with students through executive coach functioning and accountability groups to aid their academic success.

Executive coach functioning involves a one-on-one weekly meeting with a skills coach to work on academic goals. Accountability groups are work-time sessions for students to work on assignments in a productive study space to keep them accountable. Students attending can ask for help from academic coaches present at the sessions. This is a new program through SAS, which is hosted from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Wednesdays at Hixson-Lied.

The ASC plans to develop mentorship programs to provide more assistance for neurodiverse students, which Gonzalez-Elliott said this is an important step for the ASC to take as it continues to provide resources.

“I think that’s a really important piece,” Gonzalez-Elliott said. “[Students} are going to connect more with someone who’s going through the same thing [they’re] going through.”

Students seeking help can use Navigate to schedule an appointment with a success navigator for step-by-step academic guidance. This can include finding additional resources, such as tutoring or meeting with an academic skills coach.

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    Ann | Nov 6, 2023 at 9:12 am

    This is so cool!! Thank you for covering this to help gain awareness in the student body!!!

    Reply