Throughout the year Mosaic receives many emails and phone calls regarding our program. These questions below are some of the most common questions that parents and students looking into the Mosaic Program ask via email, phone, or during a scheduled meeting about the program. This list is not comprehensive so if you don't see a question on here that you would like an answer to or more details about a question, please feel free to contact us or sign up for an information session to learn more.
Prospective Student/Application Process
Q: What is the cost of participating in Mosaic?
A: Mosaic participation is $5,000 per semester on top of regular In-state or out of state tuition at UTC.
Q: When does Mosaic do admissions?
A: The Mosaic Program only does fall admission into the program.
Q: Is Mosaic a degree seeking program or certificate based?
A: Mosaic is a DEGREE seeking support program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. All students admitted to Mosaic are admitted students of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. They take classes, earning credit towards their major, and graduate with a college diploma.
Q: Does Mosaic offer any type of scholarship or financial help to cover the Mosaic Fee?
A: No, Mosaic does not offer any direct scholarship help for the fee, but we encourage all prospective students to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).
Given Mosaic is a credit bearing commitment the cost is billed into the financial aid cost of attendance. If you are receiving financial aid, they will consider you for more money. Click here to learn more about financial aid at UTC: https://www.utc.edu/financial-aid/.
Q: When is the best time to start looking into Mosaic?
A: We have families that will visit our campus as early as their sophomore year of high school, but that is not required. We would encourage you to visit college campuses during your son/daughter’s junior and senior year of high school. Doing this, eases into the idea of college and gives them the opportunity to see if the campus would be a good fit for them.
Q: When should someone start applying to Mosaic?
A: The application process for the Mosaic program should not be started until the beginning of one’s senior year of high school. Be mindful that currently we have a January deadline and require students to also go through the admissions process for UTC (which is separate from the Mosaic program).
Q: Can we visit Mosaic?
A: YES! Prior to visiting UTC’s campus, you are more than welcome to set up an information meeting with us to not only hear about Mosaic, but also services provided by the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Call the DRC Administrative Assistant at (423-425-4006), to schedule an appointment.
*Mosaic does not offer official tours of the UTC campus, but we do show you the space Mosaic uses. Prospective families typically coordinate info sessions with tour dates. We encourage families to compare the tour dates and times with our information sessions to do both on the same day. If you would like an official campus tour please see: http://www.utc.edu/admissions/visit.php
Q: Does the student need diagnosis of ASD to be considered for the program?
A: Yes, all students must provide official documentation of their diagnosis. Please see the other requirements here.
Q: What criteria does Mosaic accept students on?
A: Please see Mosaic Prospect Students for a list of basic requirements in addition to acceptance into the university (which is separate).
Q: What is the interview process?
A: Applicants that are extended offers to interview with the Mosaic Advisory Board will be given information about the interview ahead of time. We try to make the interview as comfortable as possible for the students and the parents. We email the questions to students to give them an idea of what the Advisory Board will ask. The main purpose of the interview to get to know the applicant and their family and provide the opportunity for them to get to know the Mosaic program and the people that are a part of it.
Q: How many applicants does Mosaic typically receive?
A: The number of applicants that Mosaic receives varies each year. Mosaic, however, only extends offers to interview to those that submit completed applications.
Q: How many applicants does Mosaic accept each year?
A: Mosaic has a soft acceptance cap of 10 first-time freshman students for the fall semester. Transfer students that apply for the fall may be accepted in addition to the traditional freshman students, but this will be based on space availability in the other cohorts. Traditionally, Mosaic likes to have no more than 15 students in each Cohort.
Q: Does Mosaic accept transfers?
A: Yes, however, in each of the Mosaic cohorts we like to keep the class size under 15. There are usually one or two spots available for transfer students each year but there is no guarantee that a spot will be open. We do our best to place transfer students in the cohort that aligns with their need rather than where they fit academically.
Q: What can caregivers do to help prepare high school student for the transition to college?
A: Promoting and fostering independence as early as possible is highly recommended. Although challenging at times, giving high school students and other perspective applicants ownership and responsibility over there: medication managements, personal hygiene, meal planning and preparing, laundry, and sleep habits, are a few areas that students should be able to appropriately manage upon entering college. We do encourage some applicants to take a few classes at a community college or to look into dual enrollment their senior year of high school. Also, something as simple as sharing a bathroom with siblings can help prepare students for a roommate. Doing this can help parents and students gauge their preparedness for the transition into college.
Q: Where do Mosaic students live on Campus?
A: Mosaic strives to make students’ experience in college to be authentic as possible. To meet that goal, students live freely anywhere on campus among the general student population.
Most of our students live on campus but we leave that up to the family to decide. UTC has several apartment style housing options where students have their own bedroom with a shared living space. We help students advocate in the residence halls, make suggestions based on their individual needs, and help connect the students with housing accommodations, but they go through the standard procedures for housing which is listed on the housing website here.
Q: How does Mosaic help students transition to college life?
A: Mosaic students that arrive in the fall semester move into their dorm a week earlier than the rest of the student population. During this time, we have our Mosaic retreat that talks about the program, student life, and UTC. When school starts, freshmen students meet with their coach twice a week for the first two weeks before transitioning to once a week (varies student to student). This twice a week meeting gives Mosaic and their coach extra time to help students adjust to classes and help them get settled in their semester routine.
Q: How are mentors chosen for students?
A: Mentors are reached out to in various ways and methods on campus. Every spring semester mentor application are released for those interested to apply. Once the application deadline has passed, applicants will be invited to interview with Mosaic staff, current Mosaic students and student mentors. After this thorough process, mentors are accepted and matched with a student in Mosaic based off a number of different factors that benefits the pair.
Q: What are the Dining options on Campus?
A: UTC offers two main dining areas on campus. Scrappy's Place Food Court located in the University Center. The food court has, Chick-Fil-A, Which Wich, Moe’s, Panda Express and more; Mocs Bucks, Club Fund, Campus Points, Cash, Credit and Debit accepted. The other main dining area is Crossroads Dining Hall. Crossroads is all you care to eat dining facility. Located on the ground floor of the Guerry Center. The buffet has 9 different stations and a rotating menu. Use your all access, block meal plan, Mocs Bucks, club fund, campus points, cash, and credit or debit here. Please the following link for information on UTC Campus Dining: https://mocsdining.campusdish.com/LocationsAndMenus
Q: How does Mosaic facilitate social activity?
A: The program has the Mosaic Events Committee that is made up of current Mosaic students and mentors. They plan monthly social outings and volunteer activities throughout the semester. Furthermore, throughout the semester we encourage students to attend many campus events either with their mentor or as a group with Mosaic. As a program we host different events throughout the semester that are both fun for students and educational.
Q: Does Mosaic help pick classes for students?
A: All students are assigned an academic advisor through the university whether they have determined a major or not. Their advisor will meet with them prior to registration and help pick classes based on their degree path. When this process is done, students will meet with their coach or a Mosaic staff member to pick the professors that work best with Mosaic students, have experience working with students with ASD, and/or have teaching styles that work best for that particular student. We also consider times in which the classes are offered, making sure it works for the student.
Q: What if my student doesn’t know what to major in?
A: This is a common issue among many college students, not just those with ASD and in Mosaic. Students do NOT need to declare a major right away. In fact, students can take classes up to their spring semester of their sophomore year before needing to declare a major. Their coach will help them navigate what their interest are and how they can apply that towards a major they will be interested in while working with an academic advisor.
Q: Are tutors provided through the Mosaic program.
A: Yes, based on need. Tutors have been provided in the past to help students particularly in Math and English. When tutors are provided, they are typically available during the two extended study hour sessions that Mosaic offers. Mosaic works with the Center for Advisement and Student Success (CASS) to find tutors in a wide variety of different subjects. During the fall semester Mosaic staff go in and train/educate the tutors about working with students with ASD and ways to help provide students with more tools to help those with different needs. See: http://www.utc.edu/center-advisement-student-success/ for more details about the CASS.
The writing process is also a common struggle among those with ASD. UTC has a Writing and Communication Center that helps students with writing assignments. Mosaic staff also go in and train/educate the WCC tutors on best practices with working with students with ASD. See: http://www.utc.edu/library/services/writing-and-communication-center/ for more details.
Math also has tutoring at the Math Plaza located in Maclellan Gym. The Math Plaza offers free walk-in math help for students. See Math Plaza for more details.
Q: How many hours should my student take?
A: We recommend ALL Mosaic students to be enrolled at least full-time which is 12hrs at UTC.
Q: What other degree seeking programs exist?
A: There are several other degree focused programs across the country. We always recommend families check http://collegeautismspectrum.com/ for more information on degree focused college support programs.