Options for College Success
Options for College Success, located in Evanston, IL, near Northwestern University, is a not-for-profit program dedicated to working with each student individually so that the student can reach his full potential. Each student has his/her own educational goal (college, certificate, vocational, degree, internship) so that the student will learn a marketable skill and be able to join the workforce. In addition, the student learns independent living skills, financial management, and social skills at his/her own pace.
Academic: There are a wide variety of academic choices in the Chicago area. We spend a lot of time with the family and student to make an individualized academic plan. If it involves attending classes we help the student register and submit the request for accommodations. In addition, the student receives a minimum of two hours tutoring per week for each class. If the student chooses another path, such as an internship, we work with the student to find an appropriate placement and have a plan in place to ensure a successful and positive experience.
Independent Living Skills: We evaluate each studentís skills before we develop an individualized program. We work with each student in the apartment so that the student can learn to live on his/her own. We teach many skills such as cooking and cleaning. Healthy eating and exercise are also stressed. In addition, we work with the student in the community. The student learns how to use public transportation to the job or school and other areas. We also teach safety in the community.
Financial management: Each student has a set amount of money for his/her budget. Out of that money the student learns how to pay the rent, utilities, grocery, and transportation costs. The student also has a set amount for social money and other costs. The student has weekly meetings to review the budget. Reports are sent home to the parents weekly.
Social Skills: Students meet with our staff psychologist once a week and as needed. In addition, they participate in the weekly focus group which addresses topics of particular interests of the students. While attending social activities which have been planned by the students, the RA also focuses on social behavior in the community.
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