ACCESS – Accessing Campus Connections & Empowering Student Success – is a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program designed to give college students with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) the knowledge and skills necessary for academic, personal, and social success.
The efficacy of ACCESS was initially addressed in an open clinical trial, after which it was
examined in a recently completed four-year, multi-site randomized controlled trial study,
funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the United States Department of
Education. Findings from both trials lend strong support to its efficacy. To assist others
interested in implementing ACCESS, we have created a treatment manual, developed training
videos, and published our findings in research journals.
ACCESS is delivered across two consecutive semesters, beginning with an 8-week active phase followed by a semester-long maintenance phase. During both phases, students participate in CBT group sessions and receive individual mentoring.
Under the direction of Dr. Arthur D. Anastopoulos (Principal Investigator, UNC Greensboro) and Dr. Joshua M. Langberg (Co-Principal Investigator, Virginia Commonwealth University), our research team recently completed a comprehensive examination of the benefits of ACCESS in the context of a four-year, randomized controlled trial (Goal 3) study, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. Findings from this trial revealed statistically and clinically significant improvements across multiple domains of functioning, thereby lending strong support to the efficacy of ACCESS as a treatment for college students with ADHD.
Consistent with our earlier open clinical trial results, published findings from our IES-funded randomized controlled trial revealed numerous improvements in student functioning that persisted for 5-7 months beyond the start of treatment, lending support to the efficacy of ACCESS. To assist others interested in implementing ACCESS, we have also published our treatment manual.
Preliminary findings from our IES study have been presented at numerous national and international professional conferences, including the February 2020 Behavioral Health Convening in Chapel Hill NC, the November 2019 ABCT meeting in Atlanta, the July 2019 AHEAD meeting in Boston, the June 2019 ISRCAP meeting in Los Angeles, and the January 2019 APSARD meeting in Washington DC.
Additional information about the impact of ADHD on college students may be found in recently published research findings from the TRAC (Trajectories Related to ADHD in College) project, which followed 456 students with and without ADHD across their first four years of college. More general information about ADHD is available from the CHADD website and from other useful online resources.
Workshops are available for service providers interested in learning how to implement ACCESS. As needed, our workshops can include broader coverage of the impact and clinical management of ADHD among college students. Consultation is available to address questions related to adapting ACCESS to the needs of a particular site, guiding its implementation, and troubleshooting. We have also created a treatment manual and training videos to facilitate acquisition of the skills necessary for implementing ACCESS.