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THRIVE: Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Viable careers, and Education




Across the nation, hundreds of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are applying and enrolling in institutions of higher education. At the University of North Florida (UNF), we are proud to serve and support UNF students with ASD on campus. To ensure UNF students with ASD experience successful collegiate benchmarks, THRIVE was created and developed by dedicated staff within the disability resource center (DRC) and the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). Unique to UNF and the DRC, THRIVE focuses on three primary areas of need including (a) social skills, (b) independent and responsible living skills, and (c) career development skills. These core components comprise the fundamental premises of THRIVE and consist of a series of steps to achieve competency in each of the three areas. Using students' strengths and skills, THRIVE staff will assist and support student-directed goals in each area identified by the student. THRIVE was first developed in 2012, under the direct guidance of the former DRC director, along with three UNF students. THRIVE has continued to grow and remain sustainable with invested partnerships across campus, allowing THRIVE to be available to eligible and accepted students at no additional cost!


THRIVE Mission Statement:


To provide supplemental resources for degree-seeking students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at the University of North Florida.

THRIVE Vision:


THRIVE seeks to provide supplemental strategic supports for degree-seeking students with ASD at UNF. With additional services in social communication skills, independent living skills, and career development skills, THRIVE continues to support students across all facets of UNF from freshmen to graduate students. This is to ensure that THRIVE students at UNF have the greatest opportunities for success within the collegiate environment with generalizable skills to life beyond UNF. THRIVE believes that these basic supplemental services should be provided to students at no additional cost, therefore, involvement in THRIVE is free for eligible participants.



The student leadership committee plans and facilitates social events both on and off campus. Engaging in community opportunities such as volunteering, public speaking events, high school outreach, and other community involvement encourage THRIVE students to become active and contributing members of the surrounding Jacksonville area. Each year, the student leadership team (SLC) hosts, coordinates, and facilitates our Community Learning Opportunity (CLO) where Jacksonville business and community members have the opportunity to meet and interact with THRIVE students in an educational and safe environment. Guests are provided the opportunity to hear firsthand what it is like to hire an individual with ASD, work alongside, and sometimes even work for an employer with ASD. In return, invited guests can provide students with firsthand information that will help prepare students for the work force and for pursuing competitive employment upon graduating from UNF.


On campus, THRIVE has built and maintained successful partnerships with campus organizations, clubs, and departments including the counseling center, the LGBT center, Housing & Residence life, Greek life, the DRC, and the center for Academic Excellence.


Interested in learning more about THRIVE?


Please feel free to contact the THRIVE Program by email at or by phone at (904)620-2769.


Interested in applying to THRIVE?


**Please note that admission to UNF and registration with the DRC does NOT guarantee admission to THRIVE. In order to be considered as a potential THRIVE participant the following is required:


  • Students must be admitted and currently enrolled at UNF
  • Students must be registered with the disability resource center
  • Students have submitted a signed THRIVE application form to DRC/THRIVE staff (applications are available upon successful DRC registration)
  • Students have successfully completed an interview with THRIVE staff 

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