Pace Magazine

An OASIS in Westchester

By
Alyssa Cressotti
Posted
October 15, 2021
woman sitting on bench in pleasantville

For 12 years, Pace has been supporting neurodiverse students and students on the autism spectrum through its Ongoing Academic Social Instructional Support (OASIS) program. This year, through initiatives from the President and Provost’s offices, OASIS has expanded its services to the Pace Community in Westchester.

Expanding the OASIS program, which provides comprehensive support services for neurodiverse students, those on the autism specturm, and those with other learning challenges, from Pace’s NYC Campus to Pleasantville was a natural next step in the program’s evolution.

“Many of our students are now pursuing graduate degrees,” says Torres.

The serene suburban atmosphere of Pace’s Pleasantville Campus was a great fit for students who do best without the sensory overload that comes from being in the hustle-and-bustle of Lower Manhattan. Plus, percentage-wise, more students in Pleasantville self-identify as being on the autism spectrum than in NYC.

“We’ve got a small cohort in Pleasantville right now, so it’s a really intimate setting,” says Director of the OASIS Program and Accessibility Resources Kate Torres. “Of the group, three of our students switched from the NYC Campus to Pleasantville. They really like the environment up here.”

Since OASIS began, students enrolled in the program have earned enormous success with a 3.0+ academic average, several internship offers (85 percent of students receive them!), and a 100 percent graduation rate. They are passionate about fulfilling their dreams of furthering their education, and now, the OASIS team—which includes coaches, coordinators, counselors, and more—will be even better positioned to ensure that happens.

“Many of our students are now pursuing graduate degrees,” says Torres. “And now, we’re actively working to support them in not just obtaining a bachelor’s degree, but now going beyond that. Right now, we have three students who are applying to Pace graduate programs in the fall.”

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