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Early Childhood Development | NSU


Starting Right

Starting Right is an early intervention, parent-child class designed to serve children 18-36 months of age exhibiting delays in language and social skills.  The program is designed to increase communication, social and school readiness skills.  It also provides caregivers with techniques and strategies to use in the classroom and at home. 

For more information, please contact: Heather O’Brien at (954) 262-7117 or

The Academy 

The Academy is designed to provide a private school, kindergarten; option for students who require an individualized education program focusing on social-communication, behavioral self-regulation, and independent functioning. Housed at Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Center, known for its programs for young children with autism spectrum disorder, the Academy builds on the expertise developed over the past 25 years and expands that knowledge to children who are kindergarten-eligible (5-years-old by September 1).

The educational philosophy of the Academy is based on the recognition that each student is unique in ability, talent, and learning style. The program supports the qualities and capabilities of each child. Designed for children three years of age through kindergarten, a high-quality, instructional program is offered within a relationship-based environment. Each child is provided with choices, challenges, and opportunities that nurture feelings of competence, promote cognitive growth, and enable each child to achieve his or her potential.

Teaching staff will use the STAR curriculum with students, which provides the scope and sequence of skills that young children targeted for this program need to develop. Skills in the areas of receptive and expressive language concepts and pre-academic concepts are taught using discrete trial teaching, while spontaneous language concepts and play and social interaction concepts are taught using pivotal response training. Functional routines are taught using step-by-step instruction until the total routine is performed independently. Kindergarten students may also use the STAR curriculum, but additional curricula may be implemented as needed for individual students.

Access Plus

For individuals who have disabilities that require accommodations, the NSU Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) evaluates current psychoeducational evaluations and medical reports to determine what accommodations students are eligible to receive.  In addition all NSU students have access to the Office of Academic Services’ tutoring services. Access Plus utilizes the services of the OSDS and provides a more comprehensive and higher level of programs and services for their students.

Office of Student Disability Services:

  • Access to tutoring services through the Office of Academic Services
  • Tutoring services are provided  on a 1:1 tutor-to- student ratio in Math, Writing, and Science
  • Office of Student Disability Services approves a list of reasonable accommodations and shares the information with faculty and staff

Access Plus:

  • A 2-hour, daily study hall, staffed by peer mentors under the supervision of the program administrator which meets Monday through Friday
  • Assistance in supporting and maintaining appropriate structure to the student's day and the supervision of assignments through completion
  • Residential supports  through the training of Residential Advisors assigned to the dormitories of Access Plus students
  • A 24-hour phone line staffed by the Access Plus program administrator and peer mentors to handle questions and concerns that may arise at any time.
  • Support in keeping dormitory rooms organized and clean, developing and maintaining schedules to ensure attendance at classes, and prompting to ensure appropriate personal hygiene.
  • Support to participate in and enjoy extracurricular activities thereby being involved in the overall college experience including campus clubs, organizations and social events.
  • Assistance in planning weekend activities on campus and in the community to ensure that these students have as typical a college experience as possible.
  • Individualized plans for each student will be implemented to ensure that their educational, personal and recreational goals are met.  Weekly psycho-educational groups will be offered to students to focus on information exchange, skill building, and reflection and discussion regarding individual progress.
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