Program Components

Individual Coaching with Program Staff

Each student’s program is tailored to meet their individual learning and social profile. Students will participate in individualized interventions throughout the course of the academic semester. Program Staff may work with students to develop skills in advocating with professors, negotiating the residential experience, utilizing Purchase College resources, engaging with clubs and events, navigating new and challenging situations, and working toward academic and social goals.

Summer Orientation Program

This specialized orientation program takes place prior to fall New Student Orientation and assists students in transitioning to Purchase College.

Peer Mentor Program

Peer mentors are Purchase College undergraduate students who serve as a role model to students enrolled in the Cornerstone Program. Peer mentors help assist in creating a smooth transition for students and encourage them to become active participants in the community by introducing them to clubs and other campus activities.

Social Skills Support Group

A weekly group is offered for students to encourage socialization and assist student to become more comfortable in their interactions with others.

Sponsored Social Events

Program participants are invited to attend organized events sponsored by the Cornerstone Program. Events may include meeting up for meals, game nights, movie nights, and off campus activities.

Career Readiness

Starting in their second year at Purchase, students will have an opportunity to participate in employment-readiness workshops, designed to assess students’ interests and strengths, and build skills such as interviewing and resume writing. Students will participate in volunteer and/or internship positions starting in their third year.


  • Who can apply for the program? 

Applicants to the program must already be admitted to Purchase College and are required to take a full course load (at least 12 credits per semester). Documentation supporting a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum disorder is required. Transfer students as well as students who commute to campus are permitted to apply for the program.

  • When is the application due?

Applications are due April 1, 2019. Any application received after this date will only be reviewed if space is available in the incoming cohort.

  • Is there an alternate degree program available?

All students in the Cornerstone Program must be working toward a four-year degree at Purchase College. While academic accommodations may be provided, coursework, curriculum, and/or educational programs cannot be altered or modified in any way.

  • How many students are accepted into the program every year?

A maximum of eight students are accepted into the program at the beginning of the fall semester.

  • Are program costs covered by financial aid?

Program fees are not covered by federal financial aid. However, students may consider contacting their state Vocational Rehabilitation organizations to inquire about financial support. New York State residents are encouraged to contact Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR).

  • Can students transfer into the Cornerstone Program mid-year?

Yes, students may apply to the Cornerstone Program for the spring semester if space is available. Application materials are due December 1.

  • Do students participating in the Cornerstone Program receive special housing on campus?

No. Incoming first-year students are placed in the residence halls with other first-year students. Students with disabilities who require housing accommodations must complete the Office of Disability Resources’ procedure to request accessible campus housing.

Application Process

An application to the Cornerstone program is considered complete and will only be accepted if the student has submitted the following information by April 1, 2019. Applications received after April 1st, 2019 will be reviewed if space is available in the incoming cohort.

  1. Submit the Cornerstone Program Application (to be completed by the student) and Recommendation Forms. 
  2. Participate in an in-person interview with the Program Coordinator in April or May


Track I — Includes all program components, two hours per week of individual coaching — $2,450 per semester
Track II — Includes all program components, one hour per week of individual coaching — $1,225 per semester

A student’s selected track will be determined in consultation with the Program Coordinator, based on the individual student’s needs

The Cornerstone Program follows the Fall and Spring Credit Courses Refund Policy.

Faculty Resources

To schedule a phone or in-person consultation for more information, please complete the form below:

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