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Raven Scholars Program

Serving Students on the Autism Spectrum

The Raven Scholars Program is an individualized, supported-transition program for University of Idaho students on the Autism Spectrum. This award-winning program was founded in 2011 with seed funds generously donated by Tom Alberg and Judi Beck of The Raven Trust. This free program has gained institutional support for the next five years and is moving towards a new Tiered Service Model in order to serve more Neurodivergent students at U of I. Please see more on our Program Model below.

Although we have received a commitment of U of I funding for base operating expenses, that does not leave funding for programming activities and events. These programming experiences are a hallmark of the Raven Scholars program and necessary to build social skills and a sense of belonging. Your generous gift will directly fund student activities to create inclusive and meaningful experiences for Neurodiverse students at the University of Idaho. Please consider donating today!

About Us

The Raven Scholars program supports University of Idaho students who are on the Autism Spectrum by providing coordination of campus services, peer mentoring, social and life skills coaching, supported decision making and strategies to improve academic, social and life skills.

The Raven Scholars program will be an exemplification of how to empower individuals on the Autism Spectrum to reach their academic performance goals, develop strong self-advocacy skills and prepare for meaningful careers.  

The Raven Scholars program embraces values that support the university’s strategic planning and goals. We value:

  • Personal and institutional transformation
  • Academic excellence
  • Independence
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Empowerment

  1. Empower program participants to achieve academic success and participate fully in the university experience.
  2. Provide insight, support and knowledge about autism to members of the campus community.
  3. Enrich the diversity of the campus culture through the inclusion of people who are on the autism spectrum.
  4. Encourage program participants to develop meaningful careers and make valuable contributions to their communities.

Program Model

All freshmen start at Tier 1 or Tier 2 with INTR 101 strongly recommended for their first semester. Tier 1 may have a waitlist.

Most students are Tier 2 by their sophomore years and may remain in this tier throughout their college career. Others may ‘graduate’ to Tier 3 where they still have access to the community, but less frequent check-ins.

All students have a Raven Scholars Advisor who will see Early Warning Grades and other flags through Vandalstar and will intervene. All Tiers are invited to social monthly events, groups, workshops, and may use the Student Lounge or access Peer-Mentor support.

Tiered Services

Students in Tier 1 receive the following services:

  • Planning meetings one to two times a week
  • Required enrollment in INTR 101 
    • If a student has a conflict with a class needed for their major they may opt out of INTR 101
  • Optional one-on-one social skills coaching
  • Optional academic coaching
  • Accountability agreement (if needed)
  • A customized action plan
  • Program advocacy
  • An assigned Raven Scholars Advisor
  • Invitations to monthly social events
  • Access to Peer-Mentor support
  • Access to the Raven Scholars student lounge
  • Invitation to planned discussion groups
  • Invitation to all Raven Scholars workshops

Students in Tier 2 receive the following services:

  • Planning meetings one to two times a month
  • Recommended enrollment in INTR 101 
  • Optional one-on-one social skills coaching
  • Optional academic coaching
  • A customized action plan
  • Program advocacy
  • An assigned Raven Scholars Advisor
  • Invitations to monthly social events
  • Access to Peer-Mentor support
  • Access to the Raven Scholars student lounge
  • Invitation to planned discussion groups
  • Invitation to all Raven Scholars workshops

Students requiring an Accountability Agreement and/or more support may be re-assigned to Tier 1 until those supports are no longer needed.

Students in Tier 3 receive the following services:

  • Planning meetings one to two times a semester
  • A customized action plan
  • Program advocacy
  • An assigned Raven Scholars Advisor
  • Invitations to monthly social events
  • Access to Peer-Mentor support
  • Access to the Raven Scholars student lounge
  • Invitation to planned discussion groups
  • Invitation to all Raven Scholars workshops

Freshmen and students requiring more support will default to Tier 2 or Tier 1, respectively, and may be subject to a waitlist.

Students admitted to the Raven Scholars Program start in Tier 1 and gradually move to Tier 3 through their college careers.
Raven Scholars Tiered Services Model

How to Participate:

Explore: Students who would like to learn more about the University of Idaho and participation in the Raven Scholars program are welcome to contact us and arrange a visit in-person or through Zoom. Email Raven Scholars coordinator, Leslie Gwartney, at leslieag@uidaho.edu or call 208-885-9107.

Enroll: INTR 101 is a variable 1-2 credit course designed for individuals on the Autism Spectrum to aid in developing executive functioning (organization, time management, etc.), and life or social skills with Peer-Mentor support. The class can be taken for multiple semesters, up to six credits total. This course is a great way to help students develop strong habits early on and freshmen with executive functioning issues or disabilities are strongly encouraged to enroll. This class is open to all University of Idaho students; contact the Coordinator to gain an example syllabus and typical schedule.  

Apply: Submit an application using our online form. Email Raven Scholars coordinator, Leslie Gwartney, at leslieag@uidaho.edu or call 208-885-9107 if you have any questions. Eligible applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis and assigned to either Tier 1 or Tier 2 services respectively (depending on individual needs and the capacity of the program). When Tier 1 or 2 enrollment is full, students will be wait-listed.

Wait-Listed Applicants: Students who are wait-listed for Tier 1 services may be conditionally accepted under Tier 2, if they meet the eligibility criteria and there is room available. Conditionally accepted Tier 2 students must enroll in the INTR 101 course, Focus on Success. Eligibility for Tier 2 enrollment is not available to students who require weekly support or an Accountability Agreement, those individuals will remain on a Tier 1 wait-list.

When a spot on the wait-list for Tier 1 or 2 opens, the first-come, first-serve policy will come into effect. The first individual on the wait-list is determined by date of application received, and current enrollment at U of I. An individual will be contacted via their @vandals.uidaho.edu email and will be given a two week grace period to accept the spot before it is offered to the next student on the list.

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Contact Us

Idaho Student Union Building Room 330

Mailing Address:
CDAR #4257

Phone: 208-885-9107

Email: ravenscholars@uidaho.edu

Web: Raven Scholars Program

Meet the Staff Map

Bruce M. Pitman Center, Suite 127

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS-4257
Moscow, ID 83844-4257

Phone: 208-885-6307

Fax: 208-885-9404

Email: cdar@uidaho.edu

Web: Strategic Plan

Meet the Staff Map