Fostering Social Integration
College isn't all about classes and studying. One of the most important and enjoyable parts of college for many students is the many social opportunities: meeting new people, becoming involved in clubs and organizations, attending college events, and just hanging out in the dorm or cafeteria. There are a number of ways to foster this integration across campus.
- Use Peer-Mediated Strategies for Academic Success for more information and resources. : These strategies are not just for academic support. Peers in high school and college can also provide social support and guidance on the nuances of life at school and on campus. See
- Offer Courses on Community Living: Some colleges provide courses designed for students with intellectual disabilities to build awareness around relationships, safety, etc. These courses create opportunities to learn about and discuss social situations that frequently occur on a college campus, such as difficulties with roommates, dating, etc.
- Encourage participation in clubs and organizations in high school and college: This is a great way to meet people with similar interests.
- Support students to explore school and campus opportunities: An excellent way to meet new people and to benefit from all a school/college has to offer is to be present on campus. Support students to eat lunch in the cafeteria, workout at the gym, study in the library, visit the bookstore, and hang out in common areas, like the school courtyard or union.
- Use Resource mapping: This activity helps identify resources and opportunities already available in a community. For example, if a student with intellectual disabilities is interested in participating in sports activities, a comprehensive list of all sports related events and activities at the high school or college and in the broader community can be listed. This helps increase awareness regarding what opportunities exist. Check out these resources for more information: