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Autism and Related Conditions Mentoring (CSMP)

The Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program (CSMP) is a specialised peer support mentoring program specifically designed for students on the autism spectrum and related conditions.

Request a mentor

For more information contact the CSMP Program Managers at autism.mentoring@curtin.edu.au.

My first year

“Going into university for the first time was challenging and scary yet exciting, all on its own. Struggling with new situations, structure and community made the mentoring program such a vital safety net and building bridge in becoming my own person and making a name for myself. Although I went into university with outside friends on the other side of campus, the program gave me a mentor that helped me make and keep friends in my degree and yet support me with regular conversations, meetings and information. I've been a part of programs like this before and nothing compares to the support, care and thrive for my success, it offers.”

CSMP mentee

Hear what our mentees and mentors say about the program.

On this page:

Program information

CSMP mentors help guide and support their mentees to reach their academic and personal goals. CSMP also provides a weekly social group during the semester to help develop friendships and enhance students’ sense of belonging at Curtin.

Any student who has been diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum or has a related condition that is diagnosed by a qualified health service provider that affects their ability to study successfully is eligible for support through the program. Students must be registered with Disability Services to participate.

Registering with Disability Services may also lead to a Curtin Access Plan (CAP) being devised. A CAP allows a student to have specific accommodations and modifications made to their study program according to their individual, documented needs (eg. use of laptop in exam situations, extensions etc.).

CSMP appreciates the support of: AASQAAutism West, Norton Gold Fields Limited and Cannings Purple.

What is a mentor?

Mentors are successful postgraduate students from Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Psychology, Speech Pathology, Engineering and Computer Science. Your mentor will help you enhance your student experience by supporting you to gain confidence, independence and self-advocacy during your time at Curtin. Your mentor is available to provide support based on your individual needs and work with you to develop strategies to successfully address any difficulties you identify. They can assist you to locate and access services or groups on campus, and communicate to you what life is like as a student.

What does your mentor expect from you?

  • Respond to every contact attempt as soon as possible.
  • Contact or meet your mentor at agreed times (and locations on campus if applicable) during the semester.
  • Advise your mentor by email/text/phone of any unavoidable changes to arrangements at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Be open to try different techniques to improve difficulties you may be experiencing.
  • Communicate any difficulties you may be experiencing to your mentor (or program managers if required).

How does the program work?

  1. Register with Disability Services which helps to ensure you have as much support as possible from Curtin.
  2. We will then match you to a postgraduate peer mentor.
  3. You will have weekly contact with your mentor for one hour per week or more during the semester, preferably face to face, but flexible depending on your needs.

Who can be a CSMP mentor?

Strong performing postgraduate students studying Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech Pathology, Engineering, Computer Science and any other related course are eligible to apply to become CSMP mentors.

What is expected from CSMP mentors?

Becoming a mentor involves:

  • Participating in an online START Mentor training workshop and a CSMP specific training workshop.
  • Organising weekly communications/meetings with your mentee during semester focusing on their unique requirements. This could include:
    • listening to your mentee's concerns, provide support and guidance for overcoming challenges at university,
    • guiding your mentee to connect with clubs, services and support that are on offer at Curtin to help them succeed socially, emotionally, and academically,
    • providing strategies for organising and planning workloads, working within groups and giving presentations.
  • Attending weekly CSMP mentor supervision meetings with the program managers during the teaching weeks of semester.
  • Attending Curtin Social Group (CSG) meetings during the teaching weeks of semester (when convenient).
  • Providing a weekly report outlining your involvement with your mentee.
  • Submitting fortnightly timesheets to access appropriate remuneration.
  • Participating in the evaluation process of the program.

Sign up

For more information or to register your interest as a mentor, contact the CSMP Program Managers at autism.mentoring@curtin.edu.au.

Information for staff

All staff can play an important role in supporting students at Curtin. Download best practise guides from Autism & Uni for information on how you can better support your students.

Information for other tertiary institutions

A Specialist Mentoring Generic Module based on the CSMP program is freely available at Peer Mentoring Program for University Students on the Autism Spectrum. Additional information is also available at Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Higher Education [PDF, 5.3MB].

How to support the program

Norton Gold Fields has been a strong supporter of the program, and played an important role in setting up the common room on Curtin's Bentley Campus.

If you or your organisation would also like to support the program, contact the CSMP Program Managers at autism.mentoring@curtin.edu.au.