Comparing Allistic and Autistic Honors Students’ Perceived Barriers to Succeeding in Honors and Their Preferred Resources
Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science
Committee Member/Second Reader
Committee Member/Third Reader
In recent years, neurodivergent diagnoses have increased, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that as of 2020, among eight-year-olds, one in 36 children were diagnosed with ASD. Among college students with ASD there are many barriers to succeeding in higher education, such as being predisposed to higher drop-out rates than their allistic counterparts. Students with ASD struggle with many basic skills required to succeed in higher education like language processing and executive function. Because of their ASD diagnosis students may also struggle with the additional responsibilities associated with honors programs such as maintaining certain grade point averages, completing honors credits, and completing an honors capstone or thesis project. This creative project sought to identify the different honors admission, graduation, and maintenance requirements, and the resources available to students by college at the University of Arkansas. This project also aimed to describe the demographics of participants, the needs of participants and the comparison of allistic and autistic students, as well as to create four blog posts as resources for honors students with ASD. Volunteer sampling was used to gather data through an online needs assessment developed by the student researcher. The responses were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and the findings were used to inform some of the blog post content. It was found that of 33 qualifying responses, only five of the student participants were questioning autism and none of the participants had a formal diagnosis. There was also a general call from autistic and allistic students alike for clearer communication on honors requirements and on how to function within an honors program even though most, if not all, of the requested resources were pre-existing. This suggests further investigation into communication and presentation of pre-existing resources is warranted. Also, more in-depth research should be conducted with honors students who have been formally diagnosed with ASD.
Autism, Higher Education, Honors Program
Brantley, V. (2023). Comparing Allistic and Autistic Honors Students’ Perceived Barriers to Succeeding in Honors and Their Preferred Resources. Horticulture Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/hortuht/10