Aurora University

Pathways Pre-College Programs

Students looking at an aquarium.

The Pathways program helps high school students on the autism spectrum who have a long-term interest in seeking a college degree to take their first steps toward the college experience.

One of the key components of the Pathways program is getting students familiar with new environments and experiences gradually over time. The journey begins when students are in high school, with summer camps and continuing enrichment programs that provide a preview of college life. Students have opportunities for continued exposure to campus life and for conversations with Pathways staff. Should students choose to pursue college life, they will feel less stress, and the transition will be more comfortable, thanks to these early experiences.

Pathways Summer Camps

The Pathways Summer Camps are designed for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors on the autism spectrum who have a long-term interest in a degree-seeking college experience. The goal of the summer camps is to build a bridge for autistic students as they transition from high school to college.

Students discover what it’s like to take a college course by participating in interactive classroom experiences. They also take part in social and recreational activities and outings, and they learn to develop the executive functioning skills needed to succeed in college.

You can choose from:

  • Two-week day camp for high school sophomores, juniors, seniors, and recent graduates under 21
  • 12-night residential camp for rising seniors and recent graduates under 21

The Camp Spartan Pathways College Preparation Program for Students with ASD takes place July 10-22, 2022. Learn more here.

Students in kayaks.

Read how Pathways Summer camps bring college to life for students with autism.

Pathways College Connections

The Pathways College Connections program is designed as a way for high school and transfer students to build connections with the Aurora University community and to get familiar with college life. Activities are held monthly both on the main campus in Aurora and at local community sites.

Students can choose to participate in a variety of activities each month, including athletic events, art exhibits, musical and theatre productions, social get-togethers, and dinners.

The program runs from September through April. Applications are accepted year-round, and students can start the program at any time.

For more details, download the Pathways College Connections brochure.