Resources for Students with ASD


The Passages program is a series of classes and activities that occur every semester on campus at UVU. Classes are generally held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday social activities usually are scheduled every other week.

Summer 2017

Open Enrollment starts February 16, 2017 and ends May 5, 2017. Please fill out the application to be considered as a student. Due to the high number of applicants, you will be contacted for an appointment for an interview once open enrollment concludes.

Interviews for all qualified applicants will be during the week of 05/10/2017 to 05/17/2017.

Classes begin May 29, 2017 and end August 12, 2017.


  • We encourage and support those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 18 to 40 to more fully realize their potential and utilize their strengths through higher education, social experiences, independent living, and career guidance.


  • Led by enthusiastic expert teachers and peer-mentors utilizing current best practices, the Passages program empowers current and prospective UVU students with autism-spectrum conditions to develop the awareness, skills, and supports they will need to succeed in personal, academic, and social aspects of adult life.


  • Each individual with autism and his or her potential to become an independent, contributing member of society
  • Each individual’s need to develop social relationships and recreational/leisure outlets
  • Each family’s desire for their child with autism to have the supports and services he or she needs to succeed
  • Each individual’s right to equal access under the law (ADA)
  • Each individual’s right to be treated with respect, regardless of disability, race, creed, or ethnicity


  • The National Autism Indicators Report (2015, p. 25) shows that every type of service for individuals on the autism spectrum decreased in frequency between adolescence and adulthood, including speech language therapy, personal assistance, social work, case management, transportation, occupational or life skills, psychological or mental health support, respite care, diagnostic and medical services, assistive technology, and physical therapy.

    While not all individuals with ASD would necessarily require the same degree of support from high school to adulthood, there is a significant drop in services, which is recognized as “The Services Cliff.”


  • We seek to assist students with a series of supports designed to promote smooth transition and independence in adulthood by progressive layers of support.


  • self-management
  • self-monitoring
  • video modeling
  • task analysis
  • visual supports



- Serve as an ally for others

- Access choice of services as needed


- Workshops/labs with practical application focus

- Social skills lab

- Saturday activity planning and participation

- Guide support as needed


- Introduction to transitional life skills

- Social skills class

- Parent classes

- Saturday activity participation

- Regular guidance meetings with an ally


“It has always been my goal to go to college at UVU and get the knowledge I need for a career, but there are extra challenges I face because of my autism.”

“This program can help me with study skills and ways of communicating with my instructors and peers. It can help me with independent living skills like budgeting, so I can live on my own. I want to have better social skills that will help me with friends and dating.”

“I want to go to college and have a great experience more than anything. I’m excited that this program can help me in all the areas of life where I struggle.”

“Thank you for this program. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to make new friends. I have learned a lot about myself and others who share my disability. I have also learned about those without disabilities. This program gives me a sense of belonging and it lets me know I am not the only one with autism. It has also taught me how others may perceive my actions. The activities we’ve done in class are fun and allow me to get to know others better, too. I have also learned social manners and how to respond to certain social situations. I hope the program continues.”


The passages team lined up for a picture consisting of seven people.

Laurie Bowen • M.Ed, BCBA

Passages Program Director

Laurie currently serves as director of community services for the Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism at UVU. One of her responsibilities is overseeing the Passages program on campus. Laurie has been working in the autism community for over 17 years and has learned the most signi cant lessons from the families and individuals she has been privileged to work with.

Jared Stewart • M.Ed

Passages Faculty

Jared is the director of education at ScenicView Academy and an adjunct professor at UVU. He’s shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals with ASD with many local and national audiences. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience—he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

Ryan Miller • LCSW

Passages Faculty

Ryan has worked as a social skills instructor for the Passages program since its inception. He’s also worked as a psychotherapist at ScenicView Academy for more than eight years. He provides clinical supervision to bachelor’s- and master’s-level social work interns. He co-authored, along with other ScenicView staff, a quick reference guide for social skills titled, “Why is it so Hard to Make Friends?”

Brandon Condie • CMHC, BCBA

Passages Faculty

Brandon has been working in the eld of autism, behavior analysis, and clinical psychology for more than 10 years. Within the eld of behavior analysis, he has worked closely with those dealing with intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe diagnoses, and those individuals and families with ASD. He also currently runs his own practice with ABA and clinical mental health services.

Jessica Shepherd • CTRS

Passages Faculty

Jessica graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management and youth leadership with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation and is a certi ed therapeutic recreation specialist. She currently works with adults on the autism spectrum using experiential learning activities to teach social skills.

Karen Fairchild • LCSW, CCC-SLP

Passages Faculty

Karen is the mother of three adult children with ASD. She currently teaches the parent class for the Passages program and is the co- chair of the Autism Resources of Utah County Council (ARUCC). Previously, Karen served on the state board of the Autism Society of America and worked with the GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program. She also provides diagnostic assessments for autism.