SHIELD: Support for Students with ADHD or ADHD-like Experiences

SHIELD (Students Honoring Individual Experiences and Learning Differences) is a program designed to support neurodiverse students with ADHD, ADHD-like experiences, and/or executive functioning skills challenges. SHIELD runs parallel to a student’s curriculum and takes the form of courses, study halls, and an informational newsletter for parents and other student supporters.

New students joining Niner Nation in the Summer or Fall 2024 have the opportunity to join a FIT cohort and then take two courses during the fall, as well as participate in additional activities designed to support neurodiverse students with ADHD, ADHD-like experiences, and/or executive functioning skills challenges. Niners continuing at Charlotte can take our Fall courses and participate in activities throughout the semester.

Dr. Edward Hallowell writes, “ADHD is a term that describes a way of being in the world. It is neither entirely a disorder nor entirely an asset. It is an array of traits specific to a unique kind of mind.” Our program strives to support students’ unique strengths and abilities as an avenue for thriving with distraction.

Executive Functioning skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, organize, focus our attention, remember instructions, and carry out tasks. These skills are an essential part of success in college. Students in SHIELD will learn strategies to build on their strengths to master the skills necessary to succeed in college while connecting to peers and campus resources that will support them throughout their college journey.

For New Niners:
Our cohort will consist of 25 students. These students will take a 1-credit hour course before the Fall semester begins with the FIT program. They will then take two 1-credit hour, half-term seminar courses during the Fall semester. They will also be paired with a peer Success Guide through the 49er Connect program. Our students will have the opportunity to interact with campus resources like the Office of Disability Services, Niner Finances, and Counseling and Psychological Services in a small group environment to learn more about how those offices can become a part of their college success team.

If you have questions about the program, contact Carla Eastis ( for more information.

Use your Future49er credentials to log into the application (these are the same credentials you used to apply to the university.

For Continuing Niners:
Join us in the Fall semester for UCOL: 1310 Executive Functioning and Academics in the first half of the semester and UCOL 1311: Executive Functioning and Wellness in the second half of the semester. You’ll learn about how to use your strengths to thrive at Charlotte. Email to let us know you are interested and we can give you an authorization to register.

Is your schedule full? Check out these additional resources:

Services for Continuing Students

Students who are not eligible to apply for SHIELD such as continuing students and students who are not admitted to the program have a number of other support services available through the UCAE and UNC Charlotte.

Peer Coaching

49er Connect matches students with a peer coach called a Success Guide who will check in with them throughout the semester. Success Guides serve as an accountability partner to ensure you are up to date on your assignments. They help peers strengthen academic skills like time management, exam preparation, and note-taking. They can help you troubleshoot issues in your classes and become more connected to campus through both people and resources.

Accountability Groups

Accountability Groups provide structured individual work time for students. They meet weekly for 90 minutes throughout the semester and are facilitated by student leaders. The groups are designed to help you learn and practice productive study habits, connect you with peers, and provide dedicated time to work on individual tasks.

Academic Skill Workshops

Workshops cover topics that strengthen students’ academic success. These highly interactive workshops are led by staff virtually and in person. All Workshop topics can be covered in an Academic Consultation.

Course Support Services

Tutoring and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) help students with course content in historically difficult courses.

Academic Accommodations

Disability Services offers a wide range of academic accommodations that are individualized and based on the student’s documented disability.

Finding Focus: An ADHD Workshop Series

Workshops with rotating weekly topics focusing on reviewing effective strategies related to academics, relations, and personal care.

Disability @ Work Meet-Up Series

Quick 30-45 minute small group sessions focused on specific career and industry topics led by Career Coaches and industry professionals.

Disability Focused Career Coaching

Talk with a Career Coach to discuss how your disability identity intersects with your career journey.

CommunAbility: DI-NC Mentoring Program

Creates an inclusive and productive community by expanding economic opportunity and financial literacy for students with disabilities through meaningful relationships with business mentors.

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