Introducing the Spectrum Innovates
Pathway Program Initiative:
Transcending Deficits Through Passion TM
Many autistics have exceptional abilities that if validated and cultivated would allow them to flourish and contribute to society. While some navigate the transition into post-secondary education, employment and adult independence, this is not the case for most with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Demand for programs and services to assist with transition far exceeds availability. Almost invariably, the potential of autistics becomes a lost opportunity, and the consequences are pervasive and growing.
Vaughn College invited NEXUS to enter into a collaborative arrangement to create a pathway program as a bridge year to employment or college for autistic individuals resulting in Spectrum Innovates Pathway Program (SIPP), a prototypal transition pathway program for those on spectrum who share a common passion for aeronautics and related fields. The program is located at Vaughn’s state of the art facility adjacent to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. This comprehensive 12-month pathway program, which culminates with a 6-week residency experience, gives autistics an unprecedented opportunity to pursue higher education, enter the job market and lead fulfilling lives.
At SIPP's core is the full immersion of autistics in a STEM learning environment as the means for them to acquire the knowledge and certifications for their entry into advanced technical careers. Spectrum Innovates pedagogy employs a holistic approach to learning by fully integrating social-emotional development essential to all individuals. Participants acclimate to the collegiate and work environment and develop critical life and practical skills working in an innovation hub where the experiential learning process facilitates the unlocking of their fullest potential. Projects designed to model real world challenges reinforce existing knowledge and skills while fostering their further development. Participants receive 12 transferable college credits and are eligible for fast-track admission to Vaughn based on performance criteria. Students who enter Vaughn via SIPP receive the same extensive career and job placement benefits extended to all Vaughn students as well as a dedicated placement program for those on spectrum.
Individuals of multifaceted talents, ability and creativity, autistics have enormous potential to fill the shortage of skilled job candidates in the talent pipeline. Spectrum Innovates Pathway Program participants experience how they can tap their passions to meet the practical needs of current and emerging job markets, opening a path to sustained fulfilling employment and adult independence. Partnering with supporters who envision a future where autistics are deemed an essential part of our world is critical to attain our goal. With generous support from public and private sources, Spectrum Innovates Pathway Program will help autistics achieve their fullest potential.