Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) is committed to helping students with Autism Spectrum Disorder embrace lifelong learning so that they can complete their college degree, transition into the workforce, and lead a successful life. By using a student-driven, research-based, and results-oriented method to drive decision-making, we strive to meet the academic, social, and independence needs of all participants. We see the potential in all of our students, and it is our ambition to increase recruitment, retention, and engagement as well as to nurture a culture of awareness and acceptance at APSU.
Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) was established based on the desire of members of the APSU faculty and staff to create a university that is autism friendly and promotes a climate of acceptance and support. In October of 2013, focus groups were held to determine the main needs on our campus to make this program a reality. Faculty and staff of APSU, APSU students with and without an ASD diagnosis, parents, community doctors and therapists, and university administration all came together for discussion, and it was decided that the main areas of focus for the program would be promoting success in academics, providing guidance for transition and social concerns, and developing faculty training. The first group of mentors was chosen and trained to work with the incoming participants in the spring semester of 2014, and this group of APSU students voted to name the program Full Spectrum Learning. The first cohort entered the pilot program in the fall of 2014, and the 2015-2016 academic year was FSL's first as an official program at APSU. The program is now self-sustaining, and plans to be a permanent part of APSU's services in the future.