Learning Community

UNIV-1810 (078) Neurodiversity in STEM

Incoming students in STEM fields who identify as neurodiverse* are invited to join the Neurodiversity in STEM Learning Community as part of our UNIV 1810 First Year Experience (FYE) course. The course was launched in Fall '21 and has also been offered in Spring '22 and '23. The course will be offered again in Spring '24. Course details may be found below.


Course Description

Welcome to the University of Connecticut and First Year Experience (FYE)! FYE is a unique one-credit course designed to provide you with the opportunity to explore issues relevant to new students at the University of Connecticut, with a particular focus on engineering students who identify as neurodivergent/neurodiverse. Our goal for the semester is to provide an open forum for discussion about college transition issues and concerns, and to promote greater self-awareness, growth, and understanding of you as a neurodiverse individual, engineer, and global citizen. Over the course of the semester we will investigate your college experiences holistically, which will allow you to make informed decisions paving the way for a richer, fuller college career.

This course is designed to be fun, supportive, practical, and intellectually challenging. Most of our work in this class will be cooperative. Therefore, our success will largely rely on active, earnest participation from you. Students who successfully complete the course will leave with transferable skills, increased cultural competency, knowledge of UConn resources (general and specific to neurodiverse students), increased self-awareness and self-advocacy, working knowledge of HuskyCT, a writing sample, and a resume. In addition, we hope that you will have some fun memories, confidence, and meaningful connections with faculty/staff and your fellow students.

Topics Discussed

  • Identification of strengths/talents
  • Goal setting
  • Engineering/STEM identity
  • Self-advocacy
  • Time management and prioritizing
  • Wellness: stress, mental health, and wellbeing
  • Telling your story (Your first college resume)
  • Interview skills
  • Tech hacks and workarounds: assistive technology tools to maximize learning

View the Spring '23 course syllabus here.

For more information, or to request a permission number, please contact Connie Syharat: connie.syharat@uconn.edu

* Students who identify as neurodiverse may have differences in sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions that are sometimes related to health diagnoses. A few examples of the many expressions of neurodiversity include ADHD, autism, dyslexia, anxiety, and learning differences. A formal diagnosis is not necessary to enroll in this course.