Nicholls Named Top Small College for Students with Autism

Red Out Friday at Bridge to Independence 2018 (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University) 9/28/18

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has been named one of the 30 best small colleges for students with autism spectrum disorder by Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide.

To qualify, schools must have enrollments below 10,000 and a program specific to the needs of students on the autism spectrum. Schools must also exhibit friendliness toward those students and provide financial support.

What separates Nicholls from other small colleges is the Bridge to Independence Program. Housed in the College of Education and Behavioral Analysis, the program assists students with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder with academic, job and social skills. Nicholls’ program is one of over 50 programs in the United States certified by the U.S. Department of Education and the first in Louisiana.

“We appreciate this prestigious recognition, and it makes us proud of the work Nicholls State University is doing to assist our students in fulfilling their academic and social goals,” said Dr. Mary Breaud, associate professor of education and Bridge coordinator. “Nicholls is doing great things for its students.”

The College of Education and Behavioral Analysis also offers a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a High Incidence Disabilities Concentration with an ABA option. The program aims to prepare educators to implement intervention strategies to reach students with learning challenges. The ABA option prepares students to become licensed behavior analysts in Louisiana as well as achieve national certification. 

There are an estimated 1.8-2.6 million college students with autism nationwide. Prevalence of autism in U.S. children skyrocketed by 119 percent from 2000 to 2010. It became the fastest-growing developmental disability.

Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide is the top resource for students looking to pursue a career in the field. They provide reports on special education, social work, counseling, rehabilitation and other related professions.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

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