Nicholls State University ranked with top program for students on the Autism Spectrum


Great Value Colleges has recently named Nicholls as the only university in Louisiana among the nation’s top programs for students on the Autism Spectrum.

According to the post, out of the nation’s 50 universities included, Nicholls was listed as number 46. 

Great Value Colleges’ website also reported the two different types of programs that are offered for students on our campus. The first is a two-year program with a two-year certificate, allowing students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to gain crucial employability skills. 

The next route allows these students to enroll in the traditional four year degree program with additional support during their studies. According to Great Value Colleges’ report, the students enrolled in this program also receive seminars on social skills, regular monitoring of performance, coaches and more. 

Associate Professor of Education Mary Breaud added to this by stating that Nicholls’ Bridge to Independence program is recognized and certified by the United States Department of Education as a transition program. 

“The pathway for students with a diagnosis of Autism is primarily our degree program. These students can qualify for our certificate program if they also have an identified intellectual disability,” Breaud said. 

She explained that with the degree program, students with autism are able to be fully accepted to Nicholls on their own merits from high school. 

“So, they take the courses and the ACT to meet the university’s entrance requirements. Once that is established, they can apply to Bridge. With a disability of Autism, they qualify for the degree pathway,” Breaud said. 

She said that these students in the degree pathway can work on any associate’s or bachelor’s degree that are offered at Nicholls with additional support. 

“It’s a benefit for them because they receive services that are much like the resource services they’ve had all throughout high school. So, it’s a continuation of those types of services to be able to succeed in college,” Breaud said. 

Breaud said that though they ranked a little higher last year, they’re still very happy and pleased to be able to receive a place on the list. 

“We’re very humbled by it, but it’s really the work of our students that puts us on the map for recognition for their accomplishments,” Breaud said.