August 19, 2013
Tagged: Adelphi University, Garden City, Office of Admissions, Transfer Students, Bridges to Adelphi

Autism on Campus

News, General News

by Erin Donohue

National Autism Awareness MonthFinding your way on a college campus can be anxiety-inducing for anyone, whether you are a freshman, transfer student, resident or commuter—starting a new college experience can be difficult. If you are one of the 75 students on the autism spectrum currently enrolled in the Bridges to Adelphi program, your angst is acknowledged and attended to before the first day of classes. Here’s a quick glance at what you can expect as a Bridges student:

  • Mitch Nagler, M.A., ’06, program director and academic adviser for Bridges to Adelphi meets with you, perhaps during your senior year. During your second meeting, during summer orientation, Mr. Nagler has begun to develop a comprehensive plan for your Bridges services.
  • Mr. Nagler works one-on-one with each Bridges student during the registration process, ensuring you enroll in the classes with professors who fit the best with your interests.
  • Bridges to Adelphi students arrive early on campus to begin the school year. This will give you the chance to walk through your schedule and check out your classrooms, and think about where you may want to sit. This also provides an opportunity for you to adapt to your new environment before your fellow classmates arrive.
  • In addition to an academic adviser, each Bridges student is assigned a team: an academic coach, a learning strategist and a peer mentor, which gives you the opportunity to receive individualized support designed to meet your unique academic and social needs.
  • If you find the cafeteria too noisy, or the library too crowded, you are encouraged to stop by the Bridges office, six days a week, to eat your meals, do homework and find comfort in someone who understands your struggles without saying a word.

College is a big adjustment for everyone, and for many students with an autism spectrum disorder, this is their first step towards independence. Your first semester in Bridges will be unlike any other, providing support in your areas of need while deepening your areas of strength. 

Most often, students who enroll in Bridges choose to remain in the program, but it’s not mandatory. Some students are so successful that they branch out and navigate college life on their own—changing majors or taking advantage of new opportunities. By giving you the tools to advocate for yourself, make new friends and embark on a career, the support from Bridges to Adelphi is innovative, individualized and meant to last a lifetime. For more on Bridges to Adelphi, visit

Part I of our On the Road with Autism series focused on the college search for students with autism.

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning.

Adelphi University is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university offering exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training with particular strength in its Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness. Adelphi is dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support student success.

Founded in Brooklyn in 1896, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. Today Adelphi serves nearly 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, and online.

More than 100,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, caring citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

Tagged: Adelphi University, Garden City, Office of Admissions, Transfer Students, Bridges to Adelphi