Simply put, our approach works. Because we know that the foundations of success are desire and determination, we start with student-defined goals to create the framework for success.
The support we provide is not an intervention, but more of a recognition. College students with executive skills gaps and/or learning differences have already achieved some degree of success in order to make it to college. We uncover and build on those successes to increase engagement and achievement on campus and in life.
Our general domains of support typically include Academic Independence, Life Balance, Motivation and Decision-Making and Social Integration.
While the specifics of support are unique to each student, our primary areas of focus are rooted in building the Executive Functions in each of these areas:
- Subject-area Competency
- Understanding of Learning Profile
- Academic Organization Skills
- Utilizing University Resources
- Assistive Technology
Motivation and Decision-Making
- Harnessing Vision & Career Aspirations
- Overcoming Present “Bias”
- Implementing Choice Architecture
- Resolving Ambivalence & Ambiguities
- Mastering Pivots & Nudges
- Practical Personal Skills
- Healthy Mindset
- Self-Management Techniques
- Mental Toughness
- Sustaining Effort
- Connecting with Peers and Affinity Groups
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Effective Communication
- Empathy & Perspective taking
Through dialogue in an informal, trust-based, resonant relationship, we acknowledge, nurture, and capitalize on a student’s strengths. Because our concentration is individual goals and talents, students gain agency and begin to build self-reliance.
Individual goals form the outline of what success will look like for each student. Once goals are identified, we break them down into accessible steps. Then we start to identify areas of focus and the amount and type of support a student requires in order to achieve their goals. Determining the right amount of support takes frank and direct conversation about student needs and tolerance for assistance.
Our students benefit from regular and frequent contact with our professional team each week in both structured and unstructured ways. Our team is full-time, fully accessible, and completely dedicated. Our students benefit from low student-to-staff ratios.
Our comprehensive methods are completely focused on student success.
We are student-centered from the beginning to end.
When the time is right, we slowly withdraw support as our students and families achieve independence and success. Ultimately, our students demonstrate increased resiliency over time and display the self-advocacy and self-reflective skills required for college and beyond.
Here’s what support looks like:
Well in advance of each semester, we:
- Begin establishing resonant relationships with students and parents
- Draw out the student’s vision of the future
- Identify student strengths and opportunities for development
- Target the most important and immediate areas that will get in the way
- Implement an individualized and structured agenda consistent with student goals
- Ensure all inbound logistics are attended to so the student starts strong
Our weekly student schedules often involve:
- Multiple individual meetings with our Focus Collegiate Team
- On-campus and/or virtual support that integrates with a typical collegiate schedule
- Assessment and academic progress monitoring
- Frequent individualized life-balance instruction
- Specific academic skills support and linkages to subject-area tutoring
- Campus resource integration and other on-campus academic resources
- Frequent prompting for daily routines and non academic progress monitoring
- Participation in additional skill building activities and social integration activities
Our students learn:
- How their way of learning impacts their academic life in college
- How to take advantage of on-and-off campus supports and opportunities
- How to master course management systems and increase their digital literacy
- How to make day-to-day decisions that will make themselves better off
- How to generate motivation for required college tasks that seem to lack relevance
- How to create reliable and repeatable routines in all areas of focus
- How build their own communities and social networks on their specific campuses
- How to not get behind academically and what to do if that occurs
- How to make College FUN!
Our parents get:
- Help redefining their role with their young adult now that they are in college
- Enough information so they can let go, while honoring student confidentiality
- Weekly updates from the student’s team and post-semester consultation
- Bi-monthly parent groups for education, guidance, and expectation management
- Monthly parent training on our method and effective communication with their student
- Confidence that their student is getting the highest quality service delivery available
We also help parents redefine their role with their young adult
now that they have taken the leap to college.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that provides students with IEPs, no longer applies to students once they graduate from high school.
Colleges vary greatly in their disability determinations and are often far more restrictive than high schools in granting accommodations.National Center for Learning Disabilities