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Monday, June 16, 2014

When is it Time to Explore Non-Traditional Options?

Many high school graduates with diagnosed learning disabilities are able to matriculate and successfully complete traditional undergraduate programs while utilizing a range of services appropriate for their needs.  However, some students have additional requirements that limit their possibilities.  For these students, who seek a college experience but require additional services, there are other, exciting options worthy of exploration.

One such program is Threshold, housed on the campus of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.   Candidates for Threshold may score below average on tests of cognitive ability, and struggle in the core content areas.  This program provides them exposure to careers in business or early childhood education, while earning 6 college credits and building independent living skills.  Students who complete the program may participate in postgraduate programs which allow for further skill development and additional credits. 
College Internship Program:
With programs in Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana, New York and California, College Internship Program provides students on the Autism Spectrum, those with ADHD or learning disabilities with the skills to become independent learners and members of the community.   Different tracks, ranging from college, to career, to the arts, are available to students, depending on their needs and interests. 

Vocational Independence Program:
The Vocational Independence Program (VIP) at New York Institute of Technology in Central Islip is another program that fosters independence for those with significant learning needs.   It also offers two tracks: Introduction to Independence, a summer program encompassing recreation and work-study; and its traditional three-year VIP program that is based in academics, the enhancement of social skills, independent living and career readiness. 
Programs such as these help make the dream of a college experience a reality for many students for whom such an opportunity would not often exist.  They serve as another important example of the possibilities that are available for all students who have the desire to succeed, despite the challenges they face.

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