Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1159–1167

Postsecondary Pathways and Persistence for STEM Versus Non-STEM Majors: Among College Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Xin Wei
  • Elizabeth R. A. Christiano
  • Jennifer W. Yu
  • Jose Blackorby
  • Paul Shattuck
  • Lynn A. Newman
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-1978-5

Cite this article as:
Wei, X., Christiano, E.R.A., Yu, J.W. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2014) 44: 1159. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1978-5

Abstract

Little is known about postsecondary pathways and persistence among college students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, 2001–2009, a nationally representative sample of students in special education with an ASD who progressed from high school to postsecondary education. Findings suggest that most college students with an ASD enrolled in a 2-year community college at some point in the postsecondary careers (81 %). Those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields were more likely to persist in a 2-year community college and were twice as likely to transfer from a 2-year community college to a 4-year university than their peers in the non-STEM fields. College persistence rates varied by gender, race, parent education level, and college pathway and major. Educational policy implications are discussed.

Keywords

Autism2-Year community colleges4-Year universitiesCollege pathwayCollege persistenceScience, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Wei
    • 1
  • Elizabeth R. A. Christiano
    • 1
  • Jennifer W. Yu
    • 1
  • Jose Blackorby
    • 1
  • Paul Shattuck
    • 2
  • Lynn A. Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Education and Human ServicesSRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.A. J. Drexel Autism InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA