Entering its third year, On Your Marq was created as an interdisciplinary approach to help university students on the autism spectrum navigate college life. In the program’s first year it served five students. The number has since tripled to 16 for the upcoming academic year.
Each student in the program has a peer mentor and graduate coach. Emily Raclaw, the program’s director, described the peer mentor as sort of a social navigator for the students. The graduate coach, she said, checks-in with the students about their mental/emotional health and advises them academically.
The program also holds a seminar each semester that utilizes the university’s occupational therapy department, rehab counseling program and graduate staff to talk with the students about different social and employment skills. Marquette professors, the housing department, career services and the writing center are others it works with.
“Pretty much everywhere on campus our students have someone they can go to or someone they can talk to that’s going to understand them and not treat them like they’re weird because they’re different because they’re not,” Raclaw told Crux. “They’re different, not less.”