College is a huge step forward in your journey to independence. The accommodations and IEPs you relied upon in high school are about to disappear. Now is the time to stand up for yourself and think more broadly—not just about your college choices but about the kinds of support services your chosen schools provide.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for college:
Ann-Marie is a connector who sees the potential in others. Her superpower is building relationships. In the context of Focus Collegiate, that means connecting students who learn differently and their families to the educational resources they need to flourish. It also means connecting her colleagues with the tools they need to better assist their students and clients. With a B.S. in Psychology, an M.S. in Applied Clinical Psychology, and nearly twenty years of experience working in the fields of education and mental health, » Read more about: Focus Collegiate Welcomes Enrollment and Outreach Director Ann-Marie Stripling »
We are delighted to report the success of our Summer Cohort! During this extraordinary time, we achieved a simultaneous in-person and virtual four-week program in one of the most resilient cities in the country. And our students got what they needed. Our program ended up being exactly what our students are about to experience as they start school within the next several days.
When we originally envisioned the Cohort in December of 2019, we scoured the academic landscape for outstanding college-readiness models that would help students who learning differently.
Student Skills Specialist Adam Tiro has almost two decades of experience working in special education. He has a master’s degree in Moderate Special Education from Eastern Nazarene College and a bachelor’s degree in professional music from Berklee School of Music. An empath at heart, Adam’s fascination with special education and complex learning profiles emerged during his final year at Berklee. When he witnessed the powerful positive impact music had on a young boy with learning differences, » Read more about: Focus Collegiate Welcomes Student Skills Specialist Adam Tiro »
Pattern disruption has long been a
recognized method for creating positive change. The Socrates character in Dan
Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior puts it this way: “You have many
habits that weaken you. The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on
fighting the old, but on building the new.”
As humans, we are all creatures of habit – we drink coffee in the mornings,
is the key to getting accommodations in college. In high school, most students
with learning differences are accustomed to having services come to them, in
fact this approach in mandated by law. In college, this model is flipped on its
head. Students are on their own. The U.S. Depart of Education spells it out
this way, “Students in institutions of postsecondary education are responsible
for notifying institution staff of their disability should they need academic
Resilience is the ability to adapt and thrive despite adversity. We all need it. The pandemic has been a global demonstration of our need for resilience. Those businesses and organizations that have adapted to the unprecedented difficulties we all face are more likely to survive those difficulties; some of them will even thrive. On a smaller, more personal scale, the cultivation and development of resilience is one of the primary predictors of college success.
As the fall semester approaches, our Summer Cohort is underway, and our phones and video chats are busy. Parents want to know what distinguishes Focus Collegiate from other organizations that support college students with learning differences. Simply put, our biggest differentiator is Boundless Support. We provide comprehensive, relational, integrated, boundless support.
No one can truly predict how much time or support an individual student will need at any given time. There is no recipe or construct to ‘fix’ an approach or behavior.
We are pleased to welcome Shawna Graichen to Summer Cohort, our four-week college-readiness experience July 18-August 15. As Student Skills Specialists, Shawna’s focus is student self-care emphasizing essential life skills in a college setting. She will provide daily direct support to Focus Collegiate students in the areas of organizational and life-skills building based on individual strengths and student-defined goals.
Shawna is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist who after gaining
her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Simmons University discovered her
preference for working with people over working with cells.