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2021 Student Support Network Conference Kickoff & Welcome

The College STAR Virtual Conference: Preparing students who learn differently for college success, is a free, full-day, online conference for students, families, and professionals seeking meaningful resources and information about transition and access in higher education for students with diverse learning profiles. Professionals from across the country are assembling to inform participants about topics such as: accessibility services and accommodations, developing a college-level learning and support profile for individual students based on the student’s strengths and anticipated needs, and the identification of ‘right fit’ student support programs based on these needs. The mission of this conference is to provide tools and resources for students with learning and attention differences and assist participants in identifying best practices when conducting the transition from high school to college. The College STAR Virtual Conference is an inaugural event hosted by the College STAR Student Support Network.

College STAR Mission Statement

We are a network of professionals who provide support to students who have learning differences in the college setting (e.g., Autism, Dyslexia, Executive Functioning, Mental Health, and other Neurodiversities). Our goal is to establish a national network among people (students, educators, families, organizations, policymakers, etc.) dedicated to ensuring that colleges and universities are places where learner variability is anticipated and embraced. We will build on the promising practices that have emerged from our anchor campuses, with hopes to connect our learning with those around the nation who have a similar mission and interest. By working together, we can understand and implement best practices that are anchored in research and share them broadly.

Alysha Gray

Alysha Gray is the Director of Tutoring and Learning Skills Specialist at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. In this role, she promotes the academic success, professional development, and personal wellness of medical students. Over the past year, she had served as the Co-PI and Network Director for the College STAR Network. She has previously held positions as the Instructional Specialist for the STEPP program at ECU and as a School Psychologist within the NC public school system.

Ellen Bunn

Ellen Bunn started began her journey with the As-U-R program in the Fall of 2015. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Academic Strategy Instruction and the As-U-R Services Coordinator for the Student Learning Center at Appalachian State University. A two-time graduate of App State, Ellen received her B.S. in Special Education from Appalachian in 2017 and her Masters in Special Education at Appalachian State and certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2018. Additionally, Ellen has been a licensed special educator in the state of North Carolina since the summer of 2017 and is an adjunct instructor for the Reich College of Education’s Reading and Special Education Department. Ellen is the acting Chair of the College STAR Conference planning committee and an active member of the College STAR Network.

Tanner Jones

Tanner Jones is the Technology Specialist for the College STAR Student Support Network and a member of the conference planning committee.