“The Freshman Year” is an ongoing research collaboration between ICI research team members, a researcher at the Hussman Institute for Autism and three participant co-researchers (current/former college students) who type to communicate. Through dialogue across individuals at different stages of their post-secondary educational journeys, this study explores the academic, social, and support experiences and foster mentorship relationships with students who type to communicate.
The group meets bi-monthly via the virtual chat function of Google Hangouts, a tool that allowed for this research to happen across multiple zip codes. Some of the topics discussed include: perspectives online vs. on campus courses, navigating testing accommodations, dynamics of support and peer relationships, and (emotional, physical, sensory) experiences in various spaces. Also significant are the topics that extend beyond classrooms, campuses and college-life including things ranging from hobbies and movies to anxiety and typed communication broadly.
The study hopes to expand to include more participants in these conversations, including students who type to communicate transitioning out of high school and/or who have chosen to explore post-secondary education in other creative and flexible ways. For more information about participating in The Freshman Year project, please contact the ICI.