Publication Date

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Counselor Education


Jason Laker

Subject Areas



Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who transition to higher education environments vary in their level of skills when engaging in social activities. Current research is limited about supporting college students with ASD socially in the classroom. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the perceptions of faculty regarding the social skills support needs of students with ASD in classroom settings that can influence the level of achievement of academic goals in postsecondary environments. Seven faculty members from a comprehensive public university in the west participated in a qualitative interview. The results of this study showed that participants had varying perceptions about the characteristics of ASD, the strategies used by the participants were often based on neurotypical assumptions about behavior when there was a reduced knowledge base about ASD, and participants felt limited in their ability to address the social skills support needs of students with ASD directly. The outcomes of this study contribute to the paucity of research regarding the perspectives of faculty who have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and experience related to ASD, and the perceptions of faculty regarding how to support the social skills needs of this population of students in classroom environments specifically. Implications for institutional policy and practice and suggestions for further research conclude the study.