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Defiance College appears in these rankings:

20 Best Value Colleges for Students with Autism

Defiance College was founded in 1850 as the Defiance Female Seminary in northwest Ohio. The school began with a focus on academics that were based in liberal arts and a sensitivity to the world and its diverse cultures. Trustees for the school sold canal lands that were donated to them by William Curtis Holgate, local businessman, in order to fund the new school.

The Christian Church assumed leadership of the college in 1902 and changed the name to Defiance College. This made the school one of only two religious-affiliated colleges in Ohio to begin during the 20th century. After World War II, many veterans took advantage of the GI Bill to return to school and enrollment at Defiance grew rapidly.

In the mid-1960s, Defiance began a 4-1-4 academic schedule which allowed students to take four courses for four fall and four spring months. For the month of January, students were immersed in one subject full-time. Some of the programs offered during the month included a search for Sasquatch in the Northwest, a hot air ballooning class and an archeological dig. Students took foreign languages and spoke no English for the entire month of January to totally immerse themselves in the language.

The school merged with the Schauffler College of Cleveland and Oberlin in 1967, adding social work and religious education studies to the curriculum.

Today, there are approximately 800 students enrolled at Defiance College. In 2014, the school created a program that made college for students with autism possible.

Defiance College Accreditation Details

Defiance College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation indicates that periodic reviews of the college indicate that graduates receive an education that fully prepares them for their chosen careers and that the school is open to improvement in any area identified as needing such during the review process. Specific programs at the college are also accredited by:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Defiance College Application Requirements

Students who have not earned college credits beyond high school graduation are considered first-year students. Students who apply online are able to waive the application fee. Students must provide an official high school transcript as well as official ACT or SAT scores.

Students who have earned 12 or more credits after graduation are considered transfer students. Students may apply by mail with official high school transcripts as well as official college transcripts from all institutes of higher learning they have attended and an application fee. Students who apply online will have the application fee waived.

Defiance College Tuition and Fees

Full-time tuition at Defiance College is $31,480 per year or $495 per credit hour. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial assistance at Defiance.

Defiance College Program(s) Available

ASD Affinity Program: College for Students with Autism

Defiance College offers a ground-breaking program, the ASD Affinity Program, designed to support college students on the autism spectrum disorder. The program is designed to help students who may be academically ready for college but who may struggle socially or need assistance in living in a residential unit on campus. College for students with autism can be difficult due to their inability to communicate or interact socially.

The program began during the 2014-15 school year with five students, three men and two women, all of whom ended their year with accomplishments, including a place on the Dean's list and performing in theatrical productions.

The program operates principles that include the fact that the students enrolled are Defiance College students and that they need individualized support based on their strengths. The program promotes relationships between those enrolled in the program and other students as well.

In order to apply to the program, students must be accepted to the college and must be academically capable as well as degree seeking. Students live on campus in suite-style housing with a private bedroom. There is also a kitchen and bath that students share with one other person as well as a large common area for social gatherings. Students are provided support academically, residentially and socially. Each student has one or two peer mentors that guide the students through social activities which can often be difficult for people on the spectrum. There is also a peer tutor that helps clarify assignment instructions and assists them with specific material in order to help them develop better study skills.

Students are required to communicate with their support team in weekly meetings. A coordinator assists the student during the meeting and each member provides both positive and corrective feedback. This gives students the opportunity to hear directly from their support team and for the support team to hear directly from the student.

The program is part of the Hench Autism Studies Program with a mission to educate students about the autism spectrum as a form of diversity. The program allows students to view classmates on the spectrum as individuals and peers rather than a set of characteristics. College-for students with autism- can be a difficult experience, but the ASD Affinity Program does make the university experience much more comfortable for students on the spectrum.

In order to enroll in the ASD Affinity Program, students must be between 18 and 24 with a documented diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, which may include autism, Asperger's or pervasive development disorder. Students must have an average intellect and meet academic admissions requirements. Students must be independent with self-care, including hygiene and must be able to administer their own medications. Students must be able to stay overnight independently and perform basic daily living tasks. Students may not have any documented incidents of aggressive behavior or self-harm in the past five years.

The application must include results from an intelligence test with subset scores and detailed narrative that is no more than three years old. Students must also provide achievement test results that are no more than three years old and the most recent Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Two letters of reference from a high school teacher, counselor or principal must be included as well. Students must complete an on-campus assessment with a Program Director.

Defiance College offers one of the few programs available in higher learning that make college for students with autism possible. This program allows students who may have had difficulty managing the social aspect of college achieve their higher education goals. Defiance College has a focus to help any student who wishes to move into a new career or advance in a current career achieve those goals. Defiance is worth considering as a college for students with autism.

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