top of page

Higher Education

DISCLAIMER: The CAC has compiled lists of autism-related resources in our region to help you save time searching for them on the web. This list of service providers is for informational purposes only and being listed does not constitute the endorsement of the CAC. 


If you would like us to add a resource or update a resource, contact us at 423-531-6961 opt. 0 or email

The Center for Access and Disability Services (CAADS) is the central hub for student activity and services at the college for students with ASD. Their caring and friendly staff members offer a wide array of services for students who are pursuing degrees, certificates, and diplomas. CAADS also works with students enrolled in the Tennessee Center of Applied Technology which is also on campus. Parents and/or prospective students are invited to reach out to CAADS and discuss services or arrange a campus visit.

CAADS is also involved in two new programs:


1) The Infinity Summer Bridge Program, provided in conjunction with UTC, is an excellent option for autistic students. Those who participate can receive their Comp English 1 credit this summer while accessing support services. Click this link to learn more:

2) R.O.M.E. was created as a result of a Tennessee Board of Regents grant. ROME stands for "Real Opportunities for Mentoring Experiences". Students with ASD who interested in the culinary arts can register for or audit culinary classes at Chatt State while being partnered with an upperclassman mentor for a year of structured friendship and mastery of culinary skills.   


Contact: Interim Director of CAADS, Kristi Strode

Phone: 423-697-4454



Tiger Acess is the new offering from Chattanooga State Community college for students diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Students enrolled in Tiger Accesswill take College Success as their first class in this two year program. This class will focus on career exploration, classroom etiquette, self-advocacy, and life skills.

Based on each student's career interest, they will then take classes in their chosen fields (they may choose to audit the class or take it as a credit). At the end of the two years of audited classes, students will earn a Certificate of Completion. Their capstone project will be having workplace experience in the community in their chosen field. 

Tiger Access also incorporates classes from both Orange Grove and the college's Workplace Development. Orange Grove focuses on assisting students in finding their voices to advocate and enrichment activities. Their Workforce Development will offer two certification programs for the students: Skills That Pay Bills and a Microsoft Word Certification.


For More Information Contact: 

 Dr.Kristi Strode (Tiger Access Co-program Director and director of CAADS)


Mrs.Rebecca Aslinger (Tiger Access Co-program Director and Asst. Professor, Education)

Email:’s mission is to help students earn their degree without taking on thousands of dollars in debt. This site is a free resource designed to help everyone address the costs of college while pursuing their goals. Affordable College's has created a financial resource guide for students with disabilities. This guide includes:

  • A curated list of more than 85 disability-specific scholarships

  • Strategies for utilizing state and local financial aid resources

  • An overview of loan forgiveness and reduction options



The Full Spectrum Learning program located at Austin Peay State University (APSU) supports students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The program is designed to promote successful completion of a college degree.  Areas addressed in the program are transition to college, academics, social and independence skills, and career readiness. The program includes weekly course, academic/study skills coaching, tutoring, and peer and faculty mentoring. We nurture a culture of acceptance and support of students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at APSU. We see the potential in all our students, and we strive to provide them with all the resources at our disposal to help them succeed here at APSU. 


Email us:  

Emmanuel Mejeun – Director – 931.221.7543 

Abby Goldblatt- Program Coordinator-931.221.7546

Alayna Edwards- Learning Specialist Coordinator-931.221.7547

Mosaic is a multifaceted and comprehensive program developed to support the holistic needs of UTC students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This program has been in existence since 2008 and was developed out of the request and expressed needs of students with ASD.  Due to the director’s previous experience with ASD and the drive to provide this population of students with the support they may need, the program has grown into one of the most comprehensive programs in the country. UTC's MoSAIC program contains four primary components: a credit bearing course with a fully established curriculum with a letter grade attached, academic/life coaching, peer/faculty mentoring, and required supervised study hours. For more information about the program components, click here. Keep in mind that there is an application process for the MoSAIC program, but in the same vein, prospective students are more than welcome to visit the program prior to committing. For more information, click on the "MoSAIC at UTC" heading above to be led to the website.

Contact Info:

  • Michelle Rigler - Director - at 423-425-4008 or

  • Amy Rutherford - Assistant Director - at 423-425-2202 or

  • Martin Davis - Internal Program Specialist - at 423-425-5122 or

  • Jaime Butler - External Program Specialist - at 423-425-5123 or

  • Disability Resource Center - 108 University Center, Dept. 2953, 615 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN, 37403 - phone: 423-425-4006 - fax: 423-425-2288

Group of Higher Education practitioners who research neurodiversity. They welcome 10-15 students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the fall semester to be part of the Mosaic Program on college campuses.

Click for more Information

Southern Adventist University: Transition and Support Program (TSP)
Southern University's TSP was designed for autistic students who may face challenges in maintaining the demands of college life. TSP works in conjunction with SOAR, a Disability Support Service club at Southern that promotes awareness and inclusion for all students. TSP's goal is to expand understanding of the challenges individuals with disabilities face.

Students who enroll in the TSP program receive individual and group counseling sessions, community activities with other TSP students, access to the on-campus sensory room, and weekly meetings to help them manage schedules, work on time management and receive academic advising. Depending on the student's needs, case managers may also schedule meetings with students' professors to help advocate for different accommodations they may need to be successful or organize and schedule students for additional tutoring services.  Students are also able to get note-takers and additional proctoring or services provided by DSS. Outside of academic life, TSP students are also assigned dorm mentors and social mentors to help them in other areas in which they may need additional support.


Phone: 423.236.2544.
Cost: Costs: $2,500 per semester. 

Trousdale School serves high functioning adults with intellectual disabilities, providing academics and life skills for the purpose of learning independence. Trousdale strives to be an authentic community in which students are empowered to continue learning across all dimensions of their lives, both inside and outside the classroom. All students are age 22 or older. Trousdale School’s holistic approach to education includes classes in traditional academic subjects (such as science, math, and reading), the arts (drama, music, and visual arts), as well as electives (cooking, gardening, etc).  Students play on sports teams and receive training in personal fitness and computers.  Trousdale School also provides programming that teaches life skills, as well as vocational coaching with the goal of job placement for each interested student.  The educational approach of “life-wide” learning does not simply focus on one particular subset of skills with an individual, but rather it focuses on skills and interests across the whole life of that individual. For information on the typical Trousdale School student and Trousdale School's admissions process, click here.

Contact Trousdale School:

Trousdale School

3171 Hewitt St. SE

Cleveland, TN 37323


UT Future Program is a two-year nonresidential Comprehensive Transition Program program that culminates in a Postsecondary Educational Certificate from UT as designated by the US Department of Education. Students receive training in academic, social, vocational, and independent living skills. Most FUTURE students are eligible for financial aid including the Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship. In order to qualify for the UT Future Program, prospective students must be 18 to 29 years of age, have completed high school, be unable to enroll and/or not likely to be successful in a “regular” college or university program with accommodations, and be diagnosed with an intellectual disability and/or autism.

Contact Info:

430 Claxton Complex

1122 Volunteer Boulevard

Knoxville, TN 37996-3452

Phone: 865-974-9176

Fax: 865-974-9535


bottom of page