David Archer’s passion for working with students with disabilities led him to Hostos Community College.
The 28-year-old paraprofessional initially planned on taking a few courses to earn college credits required for work. However, during his research into local programs, he became excited at the prospect of pursuing a college degree.
Archer, who has autism and a learning disability, was drawn to Hostos for many reasons, but chief among them David Archerwere the resources offered through Hostos’ Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) and College Discovery program. The former provides students with academic supports and accommodations, and the latter provides services to high-potential students who may not have had the necessary academic preparation to pursue college-level work.
“I didn’t go to a regular education high school. I was primarily in special education due to having autism and a learning disability, so that really pushed back when I would go to college, so I started college a little bit later,” he explained. “Once I got in, I started really getting excited…and I was looking for colleges that would be able to accommodate the things that I have. Hostos was listed as a school that was really good at helping those who needed a little bit of extra help, and so I reached out to both ARC and College Discovery.”
He enrolled in Hostos in 2019, initially as a part-time student, then full-time during the latter half of his time at the College. “It was definitely tricky,” he said of his busy schedule. “I was balancing both work and what I needed to do for my classes. I think the thing that helped me the most was that I started things very early; it gave me more time to spend on the next assignment.”
Archer, a Liberal Arts and Sciences major, also tapped into the academic support programs that initially attracted him to the College to help him to stay on track. “College Discovery was invaluable to me,” he said. “They were incredibly helpful. My advisor really worked really hard with me, as well as ARC and my transition advisor. I think that without the help and support of College Discovery, I wouldn’t have been able to do as well as I did.”
Archer finished his last semester at the end of 2021 and will graduate this spring with an impressive 3.9 GPA and Associate in Science (AS) degree. Looking ahead, he is going on to attend The City College of New York and hopes to one day become a special education teacher. 
“I kind of knew early on that I already wanted to become not just a teacher, but someone who works with students with special needs,” he said. “I want to use my own experiences as a student to help them as a teacher.”
We wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors.