Post-Secondary Transition Tips with Evan Noble
Evan is a former AutismBC summer student and has since graduated from Okanagan College in British Columbia. As a young child he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The transition from high school to post-secondary school can be difficult and nerve-racking for everyone. In order to shed some light on this process for an individual on the spectrum, Evan shared his story and tips for success.
My name is Evan Noble, and I am 22 years old. This past June I received my Computer Information Systems diploma from Okanagan College. My future plans include gaining professional work experience within the computer field and then returning to school to complete my Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree.
During the past three years I have learned how to navigate through the post-secondary world. At times it has been challenging, but also very rewarding and enjoyable. Here are some tips for success:
- Register with your institution’s accessibility services department.
This resource which is available at all public schools offers useful information about the services and accommodations that they can support you with. Examples of these may include:
- Providing a quiet place for test writing
- Assistance with note-taking
- Preferential seating in lectures
- Prepare a brief introduction about yourself.
Take a few minutes to write a short but informative biography of who you are, where you grew up and how you enjoy spending your recreational time. Including your strengths, ways that you feel you can be most successful, and areas in which you may need support in. Send this to every new instructor each semester about a week before class starts to allow them to get to know you better and be able to prepare for any assistance they can offer. Make sure to include a photo of yourself to make it easier for them to know who you are when they meet you. I found this helpful because my instructors would usually introduce themselves at the first day of class.
- Consider taking less than a full course load
Don’t be overly ambitious at first by taking on an overwhelming course load. By having a healthy work-life balance you’ll be able to keep up with assignments while not feeling too stressed or anxious. In some schools, you might be able to take a course or two in the summer, which will reduce the requirement to take a full course load.
- Always attend the classes on your schedule
Maintaining a consistent and punctual attendance record should be a high priority. Unless you absolutely cannot be present due to illness or some other unforeseen situation, strive to be in the upper percentile from an attendance standpoint. This is important in order to ensure you do not miss out on important information and details about assignments.
- Establish rapport with your instructors
Visit your professor during open office hours or make an appointment to see them if you require clarification about an assignment, or about what to study for in an exam. I did this fairly regularly and it proved to be very helpful.
- Take time to adjust to the higher academic standards expected
Try not to become too stressed if you do not receive marks as high as you did in high school. College and university are very different from high school, but you can be successful. Just do your best!