SOCIAL Gators GATORS is a program for UF degree-seeking students who want to enhance their skills for a more enriching college experience. This program is designed for students on the autism spectrum and others interested in improving their social communication skills.
A collaborative effort between the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD), the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), and the Disability Resource Center (DRC). SOCIAL Gators focus on developing skills in social interaction, independence, career readiness, and academics through the provision of four services: mentoring, weekly group meetings, and online learning modules.
About SOCIAL Gators
Degree-seeking students with autism spectrum disorder are paired with peer mentors in an effort to increase engagement in university life. The peer-mentors provide support in navigating social aspects of university life such as participating in campus life events, interacting with instructors, classmates, and roommates, and networking with research mentors and potential employers. Mentors and student participants meet monthly to set goals and reflect on progress.
Weekly Group Meetings
The weekly meetings are designed to address issues such as health and wellness, social communication, stress management, executive functioning, career seeking, and self-advocacy, and more.
A CANVAS page is offered in addition to the in-person support of SOCIAL Gators. It contains modules with social communication resources and is designed to help students track progress on goals they are working to achieve.
Email SOCIAL Gators for more information at: SOCIALGators@ufsa.ufl.edu.
Applications to SOCIAL Gators will be considered complete and accepted only if the following are included:
DRC Assistant Dean/ Director
Chair and Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Student Affairs / Parent
Ernesto Escoto, Chair
CWC Director, Clinical Assistant Professor
Ritzy Luque Ettinger
CWC Case Manager
Associate Professor, Veterinary Medicine / Parent
CARD Associate Director, Research Assistant Professor
“AJ” Afzal Qureshi
CWC Associate Training Director
CWC Psych Intern
Chair and Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Associate Professor, School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
ASD Program Coordinator, College of Medicine