Students enrolled in Chapel Haven’s ASAT program will enjoy an expanded college-level class in social communication starting at Southern Connecticut State University in the spring of 2018.

For four years, Chapel Haven has collaborated with Southern CT State University’s Department of Communication Disorders to make the class available and meaningful for both university and ASAT students.

This spring, the class, entitled “CMD 205: Fundamentals of Social Communication and Cognition” will be moved up from its summertime slot and will offer three credits to participating ASAT students.

The benefits are many:

  • ASAT students commute to the Southern campus on their own and do coursework alongside other undergrad students in this college-level class on the basics of social communication in the Department of Communication Disorders.
  • They also join social communication groups designed to supplement their academic work.
  • The class is credit-earning, and helps orient ASAT students to a vibrant college campus.

The New Haven Register recently did a front-page story on the class. To read the story, click here: SCSU/Chapel Haven Class Expands Opportunities for Varied Ability Students

The class serves many purposes, according to Dr. Barbara Cook, Ed.D., CCC-SLP,  who oversees the class with Dr. Deborah Weiss, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders at SCSU.

Dr. Barbara Cook, SCSU

“The emphasis of the course is understanding the theoretical concepts of social cognition and relating these to the workplace and the university setting,” Cook said. The class gives ASAT students greater familiarity with college-level academic work while at the same time familiarizes them with the SCSU campus. They’ve obtained SCSU student IDs as part of their registration as non-matriculated students and have taken guided tours of the new SCSU science building, Buley Library, the food court, and the departments of Art and Computer Science.

Learning how to navigate the world socially is vitally important, said Dr. Weiss. “It’s the key for everything that we do, whether in the workplace or in our personal relationships. The way we communicate verbally and nonverbally is really the key to success in life.”

For more information about the course, contact Dr. Barbara Cook at

For information about Chapel Haven’s ASAT program, send an inquiry to