Here at Passages, we believe that any student who truly wants to go to college needs
to be encouraged and supported in their decision. Our mission focuses on supporting
those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to more fully realize their potential and
utilize their strengths for enriched lives-- through higher education, social experiences,
independent living, and career guidance.
VISION & VALUES
Led by enthusiastic, expert teachers and peer-mentors utilizing current best-practices,
the UVU Passages program empowers current and prospective students with autism- spectrum
conditions to develop the awareness, skills, and supports they will need to succeed
in all aspects of university life: personal, academic, and social.
- Each individual with autism, and their potential to become independent, contributing
members 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
they need to succeed
- Each individual's rights to equal access under the law (ADA)
- Each individual's right to be treated with respect; regardless of disability, race,
creed, or ethnicity
Our classes will be held each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with each class focusing
on the skills needed to succeed in college as well as in everyday life. These classes
strive to guide students in a way that encourages self-advocacy, proactivity, and
aims to help them be more aware of their surroundings, themselves, and others. They
focus on social opportunities, professional placement, higher education, independent
living, Tuesday's activities and coursework are specifically aimed at helping students
improve their social skills. Classes will improve student's social effectiveness,
increase motivation to use these skill in the future, and help students make social
interaction a more manageable and pleasant experience.
Tuesday Night Curriculum
7/8 - Why Cross the Social Divide?- Students are introduced to overcoming their "social divides" by becoming aware of:
- - Things that cause such divides
- - Negative thoughts about social interactions
- - Finding reasons to interact
- - Taking opportunities to interact
- - Seeing the need for skills that are vital to social success
7/15 - The Bridges We Call Relationships - Here we focus on defining what a relationship is and how they are built, strengthened,
and maintained. We will begin to explore how their own needs, wants, challenges, and
experiences impact relationships. Students will also consider various types of relationships
and differentiate the expectations, time, work, trust, and emotional connection needed
7/22 - Constructing What We Feel, Say, & Do - Here we look closely at how feelings, communication, and behavior impact our relationships.
Important concepts such as non-verbal communication, listening, empathy, and problem
solving are introduced.
7/29 - Non-verbals - Non-verbals are emphasized as a critical part of communication and as a key part
of relationships. We heavily focus on the importance of appropriate personal appearance
as well as utilizing and understanding body language. We will also cover how to maintain
proper appearance and hygiene, facial expressions, eye contact, touch, gestures, and
8/5 - Conversations - Students will learn how to initiate and carry on two way conversations, including
how to change topics, listen actively, and take turns talking. Additionally, they
will learn how to enter other's conversations, how to fix conversations when there
has been a misunderstanding, and how to navigate sensitive subjects.
812 - Strengthen & Maintain - Students will learn the importance and key skills necessary to maintain and strengthen
relationships. We will emphasize skills regarding conflict resolution, giving compliments,
expressing gratitude, respecting others points of view, giving and receiving feedback,
and progressing relationship. Guidance regarding the use of technology in relationships
is also given.
Thursday Night Curriculum
- 7/3 - (Second class), Introduction: Participant introductions, Passages program, and addresses autism in adulthood/college.
7/10 - Focuses on college skills concerning study skills, scheduling, accessibility, and academic success.
7/17 - Focuses on communication skills, specifically writing, class participation and presentations, self-advocacy, interaction
with instructors, etc.
7/24 - Focuses on living issues centered around self-care, shopping, safety, and budgeting.
7/31 - Focuses on social skills, mainly roommates, dating, friends, and clubs.
8/7 - Focuses on sexuality centered around self awareness, safety, and societal expectations.
8/14 - Last class: Focuses on self-advocacy, self determination, and support networks.
FACULTY & STAFF BIOS
Toni Harris, MBA • Assistant Dean, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Toni comes out of a solid business and testing/assessment background. She earned an
MBA and spent eight years working as a Certification Program Manager and Test/Certification
Executive Director for Thomson Prometric and Development Services Inc. This experience
offered her the opportunity to develop a broad experience base in the tools and processes
necessary to build, track and enhance varied cross-audience certification and training
programs for companies such as HP, Adobe, Microsoft, Brocade, Google, and Citrix.
Prior to working in certification, Toni spent 13 years with Covey Leadership Center
working as a project manager on new books and publications. She has been at UVU since
2008 and serves as the Assistant Dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Laurie Bowen • Coordinator
Laurie completed her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Autism, with
an emphasis in Board Certified Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University, and
will be receiving her BCBA in August. She has two Bachelor of Science Degrees: one
in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Psychology from Utah Valley University,
and a second in Communication Disorders from Utah State University. She also has Autism
Specialized Studies Certificate through the University of California-Davis, and has
been trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Floortime (DIR), Early Start Denver
Model (ESDM), and Best Practices Interventions with Autism. Laurie began working with
children with Autism in 2000, and is currently co-chair of the Autism Resources of
Utah County Council, coordinator with the Passages program, and teaches Introduction
to Autism at UVU as adjunct faculty.
Teresa A. Cardon, PhD., CCC-SLP • Autism Consultant
Teresa has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon
completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis
and is currently the Director of Autism Studies at Utah Valley University. Dr. Cardon
has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presents at conferences
both nationally and internationally.
Tracy Golden, PhD. • Primary Faculty Member
Tracy received her PhD and MSW from the University of Utah. She is a licensed, clinical
mental health counselor, with expertise in adults with autism spectrum disorders as
well as a general practice in other mental health issues including anxiety, depression,
bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Tracy is an Assistant Professor of Social Work
at Utah Valley University. Her research interests are around the unique patterns of
relating that parents develop with their children with autism. Dr. Golden has been
involved in the disability field since 2004. She helped co-found Utah Families for
Effective Autism Treatment and served as vice president. She is also a collaborating
member of the Utah Autism Council, the State of Utah "Learn the Signs. Act Early"
Team, the Maturation Work Group for Children with Developmental Disabilities, and
the Utah Autism Project (a volunteer organization serving Latino families). Her interest
in the Utah Act Early Program arose from her belief that parents should have opportunities
for early detection in order to access early intervention. She is particularly interested
in increasing identification of developmental disabilities in underserved populations.
Jared Stewart, M.Ed. • Primary Faculty Member
Jared was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private
Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). He is the director of education at Provo's ScenicView
Academy, and an adjunct professor at UVU. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from BYU,
he has spent the past decade working with adolescents and adults with autism, and
has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes
for individuals on the autism spectrum 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.
Meera Andersen • Student Assistant
Meera Andersen is currently a student at UVU and is working toward becoming an Occupational
Therapist. She loves helping people in anyway she can, and strives to make the lives
of those around her better. Meera has a strong love for the outdoors, and enjoys rock
climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and being with friends and family.
Kari Bushman • Passages Ally
Kari Bushman is a non-traditional UVU student majoring in Speech Communication with
a minor in Autism Studies. Kari has worked for almost 20 years as a Radio and event
DJ and loves social media, music, singing, people and parties! She has a passion for
working with teenagers and adults on the Autism Spectrum. She has also worked as a
Life Skills aide at the Junior High level for 5 years, and has served as a volunteer
for both the Alpine School District and Scenic View Academy working with ASD students.
As a Senior at UVU, Kari looks forward to graduation (next spring) and to working
as an advocate and mentor for teenagers and adults with Autism.
Jeff Jorgensen • Passages Ally
Jeff is currently attending UVU and majoring in psychology. He plans to obtain a master's
degree in order to further his academic pursuits in the field of autism.