SOCIAL Gators are students, mentors, and professionals who are interested in supporting students in autism spectrum disorder. Professional staff has backgrounds in counseling, communication, transition, and accommodations.

Student
Opportunities for
Career,
Independent, and
Academic
Life

Purpose

SOCIAL Gators (Student Opportunities for Career, Independent, and Academic Life) is a program for UF students who want to enhance their skills for a more enriching college experience. A collaborative effort between the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD), the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), and the Disability Resource Center (DRC), we focus on developing skills in social interaction, independent living, career seeking, and academics through the provision of four services:

Mentors

Degree-seeking students with autism spectrum disorder are paired with peer mentors in an effort to increase engagement in university life. The peer-mentors provide support in navigating social aspects of university life such as participating in campus life events, interacting with instructors, classmates, and roommates, and networking with research mentors and potential employers. Mentors and mentees meet monthly to set goals and reflect on progress.

Weekly Group Meetings

SOCIAL Gators meet weekly on Thursdays at 3pm and at 4pm to review on their experiences both in and outside of the classroom. In addition, monthly discussion topics include presentations on: health and wellness, using social media, coping skills, managing anxiety, career seeking, and law enforcement. Meetings are designed to help individuals lead lives that are more independent.

Academic Coaching

Participants can receive educational learning and success strategies as well as support in the management of disability impact on academic performance. Weekly meetings with the Disability Resource Center learning specialists can keep students organized on the right track toward completion of goals.

First-year Florida Course

SOCIAL Gators is offered through a section of the first-year Florida course in Spring 2018. The course is designed to help students develop skills that support a fulfilling college experience at UF.

Email SOCIAL Gators for more information or to register: SOCIALgators@dso.ufl.edu.