The Mosaic program is made up of four primary components. Each of these works in concert with the other to provide a comprehensive program. These components include (1) A credit bearing course with a fully established curriculum with a letter grade attached, (2) Coaching, (3) Peer/Professional Mentoring, and (4) Supervised Study Hours.
Credit Bearing Curriculum
This curriculum is made up of four year-long courses dedicated to the development of the social skills needed to navigate through a college career. Each subsequent year builds on the skills developed during the previous year. The curriculum is written and structured based on the latest research in the field.
Year 1: Independence, Social and Study Strategies
This year focuses on the transition into college and becoming independent. The curriculum has components regarding understanding ASD and the impact, developing independence, self-advocacy and navigating the different levels of relationships at college among other topics.
Year 2: Developing Identity, Strengths and Self-Perceptions
The curriculum for this year focuses primarily on reframing the students’ view of ASD and seeing the truly positive qualities that often get lost among the difficulties. In addition, students focus on the unwritten social rules and develop tools for how to manage these rules that are so difficult to navigate.
Year 3: Turning Skills and Strengths into Careers
The curriculum for this year builds on the newly developed view of the students’ individual strengths and builds on developing an understanding of how these strengths can work best in the school and work environment. In addition, students learn to recognize strengths in others to best navigate how to build effective teams. Student then explore major choices, work experience, job shadowing, internships, mock interviews and resume building as tools to better prepare themselves for the work force.
Year 4: Developing Workplace Skills
The focus of this year is to build on all the pieces of the career puzzle. Getting students to recognize all the parts that work together to make them marketable is vital. The focus of this year is real work experience through job shadowing, supervised internships, volunteer experience, career fairs, major internships, etc. All while providing the very direct and structured feedback needed to develop good soft skills for the work place.
Year 5: Work-Life Balance
This class is geared towards teaching students necessary skills for developing a healthy work-life balance. It is also a time to continue focusing on professional development, providing opportunities to discuss issues that may arise as students navigate their internship and job experiences.
Participants in Mosaic meet with a coach (a Mosaic staff member) to develop solid academic and social skills each week. Each coaching session is focused on the individual needs of each student at the time of the meeting. This could include developing time management skills, processing roommate difficulties or communication difficulties, clarifying course requirements, connecting the student with on-campus resources etc. Grades are checked with the student frequently to help monitor academic progress and provide accountability.
Students are partnered with a trained peer mentor. Mentors are students who display leadership and social understanding on the college campus and have an interest in ASD. The purpose of this relationship is to foster on-campus engagement and provide the student with peer support as they navigate social situations. As students progress, we work to pair them with a professional mentor who helps them make connections and develop professional skills. Additionally, we offer older students in the program the opportunity to mentor younger students.
Supervised Study Hours
Mosaic students are required to complete four hours of supervised study hours per week in designated spaces. This allows coaches to determine if students are making use of good study habits, or if there are distractions interfering. It also allows for students to naturally develop support systems amongst themselves and others in the community. Extended study hours are available on one day per week in the DRC lounge-room 352 of the University Center.