In 2017, the idea of attending college made Alayna Edwards, a high school senior living in Nashville, TN, feel somewhat apprehensive. Having been diagnosed as autistic, she wondered how successful she would be taking classes on a university campus. Then one afternoon that spring, her mother told her about the Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) program at Austin Peay State University. FSL, which is housed in APSU’s Eriksson College of Education, was designed to promote retention and successful completion of a college degree for students on the autism spectrum. The program also aims to cultivate a desire for lifelong learning, helping its students transition into the workforce and enjoy success after graduation. Edwards is a case in point. In 2021, after having graduated with a degree in elementary education, she returned to campus in the Fall to pursue a graduate degree in curriculum instruction while also returning to the FSL program as a teaching assistant, having been inspired to give back to the program what it had given her as an undergraduate. 
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