FIDGETECH EDUCATION PROGRAM
FIDGETECH ED works with local colleges, universities and training institutes in the Willamette Valley, to support young adults on the autism spectrum who want to pursue a technical educational objective with on-campus mentors and other services.
FIDGETECH ON-CAMPUS SUPPORT
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder can often find success as a college student difficult to achieve. Conditions that often accompany ASD, such as reduced self-advocacy and coping skills, can become insurmountable obstacles when attempting to navigate a college career.
Working through disability services provided by college institutes, FIDGETECH has found that the right mix of support can become a platform for success on the college campus. As a student registered with college disability services, helpful resources and accommodations can be utilized. FIDGETECH works with students to take advantage of these services and provides additional on-camp support as described below.
FIDGETECH ED works with college advisors, parents, and program members to assist in the college enrollment process. Services include help with choosing the appropriate courses and instructors.
Learning Coach Support
FIDGETECH ED members are supported by a FIDGETECH Learning Coach who supports members daily with a 1 to 6 coach to member ratio. The FIDGETECH Learning Coach has an extensive background in many facets of multimedia including 3D modeling, programming, design, and teaching.
program members meet with FIDGETECH ED staff to help with educational goal setting. Success tracking enables members to develop big picture thinking with regard to their community college career and beyond.
Life and Social Skills Training
FIDGETECH ED collaborates with Synergy Autism Center in Portland to mentor members with a variety of life and social skills as applied to navigating the college life (such as communication, working in groups, asking questions, interacting with instructors, and building self-esteem).
FIDGETECH Epicodus members complete standard Epicodus courses in a 1-to-4 instructor-to-member classroom environment. Classroom instruction is provided by a team of FIDGETECH and Epicodus instructors. Members also receive specialized internship training. Graduates receive Epicodus trade certification, as well real-life work experience through internships.
Training is unlike the traditional classroom experience. Training is 100% hands-on and self-paced, building projects and writing code in every session using “pair programming” techniques. Pair programming involves two people sharing one computer, taking turns at the keyboard and mouse. By working together, members catch each other’s mistakes, teach each other new skills, and come up with ideas together that neither would think of alone. Pair programming is increasingly used by leading tech companies.
FIDGETECH instructors are Synergy Autism Center certified mentors, specially trained to help FIDGETECH members learn a variety of social skills such as communication, self-advocacy, and building self-esteem. Epicodus instructors are certified graduates of the Epicodus training program. Epicodus instructors will join FIDGETECH instructors in the classroom environment to provide a fully qualified training environment.
FIDGETECH is launching the FIDGETECH Epicodus program as a pilot program. The pilot program will consist of eight FIDGETECH members and two instructors. The pilot program will take place at Epicodus, 400 SW 6th Ave #800, Portland, OR 97204 and will be open 8am – 5pm every week day.
Students will have an opportunity to participate in classroom instruction, self-study, and collaborative or “paired” learning daily. As a self-paced program, hours of attendance will vary. Specific hours for classroom instruction will be announced in the days leading to the start of the program.
WORKPLACE SKILLS TRAINING
FIDGETECH Epicodus members will learn essential workplace skills. A variety of valuable competencies will be taught including: communicating in the workplace, building credibility and confidence, decision-making and problem solving, and managing emotions and behavior.
FIDGETECH collaborates with Epicodus to place members in internships with local businesses. Select internships will be chosen that provide a supportive environment for FIDGETECH members.