SUNY Cobleskill

A support program designed to help students with autism and learning differences will be available at SUNY Cobleskill in August 2020.

CareerNext is an effort of Living Resources, an organization that provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people with brain injuries, according to www.livingresources.org/mission/.

Interested students will be connected with an academic coordinator on campus who will help them navigate the college environment, according to CareerNext Assistant Executive Director Jennifer Richard.

“Our goal is to make sure our students are successful with time management, organization, completing assignments, prioritizing, studying for tests and making sure they get the accommodations they're entitled to,” Richard said.

SUNY Cobleskill students can apply to be in the CareerNext program at www.careernext.org/apply/. The program has been in action at SUNY Schenectady since April 2019, according to a media release from Living Resources.

The college's Associate Director of AccessABILITY Resources and Transition Wendi Richards said she was excited when the partnership came about. 

"We have so many students who want to come to college and be successful but we aren't able to provide this extra layer of support for them," Richards said, adding that students would benefit from the combined help of herself and CareerNext staff. 

SUNY Cobleskill Vice President for Student Affairs Anne Hopkins Gross spoke of the importance of such programs. 

"It's interesting, as a parent of someone with autism and knowing this type of program exists really gives hope and support for kids who have the intellectual ability to do the academic side but ... they really do need extra support you don't often see at a college campus," Hopkins Gross said. 

CareerNext Director of Admissions Colleen Dergosits said other services provided by the program include helping students navigate group work, alerting them of extra credit opportunities and seeking alternate locations for testing. 

"As the premier educational institution of agriculture and technology, SUNY Cobleskill calls all learners to grow, to sustain, and to renew the world and its citizens,” SUNY Cobleskill President Marion A. Terenzio said in the release. “We are proud to be a part of a program that provides assistance to students on their path to academic success and independence.”

To learn more about CareerNext at SUNY Cobleskill, visit www.careernext.org/

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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