Office of Disability Services

Raiders on the Autism Spectrum Excelling (RASE) Program


Our Fall 2024 Cohort is now closed. To apply for the Raiders on the Autism Spectrum Excelling (RASE) program for Fall 2025, please email Heather Rando.

On this page:

About the Program

The RASE Program provides additional support for students whose disability impacts their academic performance. The program goes beyond legally mandated reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.* The RASE coaches are experienced undergraduate or graduate students who are available as a resource for students on the Autism Spectrum. Employees of ODS, coaches set their schedules to accommodate their students’ specific needs. Coaches work with students on transition competency areas to develop the structure and framework necessary to be successful in college. The RASE coaches work with students in five key competency areas that will support their learning needs; social skill development, study skills, self-advocacy skill development, time management, and resiliency.

*Reasonable accommodations are provided at no cost for those students registered with the Office of Disability Services

Success Outcomes

A typical participant in the RASE Program is involved for one academic year (Fall Semester to Spring Semester). 85% of enrolled participants are able to transition to working with their ODS Case Manager after their initial transition year. Students who need additional support beyond their first year, may participate in the program at a reduced level of support.


Eligibility Criteria

Each student's needs are assessed based on the program eligibility criteria. Students meeting the following will be considered for the RASE program:

  1. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  2. Registered with the Office of Disability Services.
  3. Identified needs in one or more of the RASE key competency areas: social skill development, study skills, self-advocacy skill development, time management and resiliency.

Prior to starting college, students participating the RASE Program must be able to:

  1. Wake up independently without family involvement
  2. Manage time effectively at least half of the time
  3. Take medication regularly and independently (if applicable)
    1. If ADD/ADHD is present along with Autism, it needs to be well managed, whether with meds and/or behavioral strategies prior to entering college
  4. Demonstrate a solid foundation of skills in both math and writing.
    1. Strong performance in Algebra 2 is a good gauge.
  5. Express needs and concerns to the coach in order to fully utilize the support
  6. Attend classes and coaching sessions regularly and willingly to ensure continuity
  7. Complete college curriculum without modification.
    1. Coaches are not content tutors; they are a support resource.



Students in this fee-based, elective program receive up to 5 hours of support, comprised of direct coaching as well as other social and academic supports. The RASE program cost is $1,000 per semester for year one.

The cost for students enrolled beyond their first year is $600 per semester for up to 3 hours of support per week.

Program fees are uploaded directly to the student’s bursar account and can be paid with financial aid, scholarships, or any other source of funding.


How to Get Started

Interested students and families should meet for their consultation during the spring of their junior year of high school through the fall of their senior year of high school. Consultations will be scheduled for 1 hour. Students must be present at the consultation. Parents/guardians are welcome to attend the consultations.

*Confirmation of participation should be submitted in writing (via email) to RASE Program Coordinator by April 1 prior to their August start. Due to staffing restrictions, participation cannot be guaranteed after January 1 prior to a student’s August start. Beyond this date, students may be placed on a waitlist in the event a spot becomes available.


Support Staff

Heather M Rando, M.S.Ed.

Office of Disability Services
Director Disability Services
University Hall 180, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001

Evan A Mason, M.A.

Office of Disability Services
Disability Specialist
University Hall 180, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001