Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to critically evaluate this peer to peer AS Mentorship Program. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, the current study examines the effectiveness of the AS Mentorship Program in meeting the students’ needs and if the program is achieving the goals and objectives previously mentioned.
Methods: At the beginning of the academic year (or upon entrance into the program), students complete an initial interview with their individual mentor, as well as three questionnaires (the Social Provisions Scale, the Social Support Questionnaire and the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List). Whereas the interview asks students specifically about their strengths, weaknesses and goals in the AS Mentorship Program, the questionnaires ask students to quantify their feelings of belonging and acceptance in the university setting. Students are given a similar interview and questionnaires at the end of the academic year. Qualitative analyses are used to assess student satisfaction with the mentorship program, specifically how much the program met their individual needs, as well as some areas of strength and recommended improvements. Analyses also examine potential changes in feelings of belonging, acceptance and support in the university setting at the end of the academic year.
Results: Currently, twelve students diagnosed with an ASD, most commonly Asperger syndrome, are participating in the AS Mentorship Program and have completed the initial interview and questionnaires. Data analysis of interviews and questionnaires will be updated at the end of the academic year.
Conclusions: Results of the present study will inform the future development of the AS Mentorship Program, as well as help to provide quality services to address the needs of students with AS in the university setting.