Expanding Our Curriculum with a New Life Skills Track

Posted on January 5, 2018

"College Re-Entry has opened a new door for me. I am excited to go back to school."

Our fall class was one of our largest, with nine students taking our evolving Core Program. At the end of each semester, we ask our students to design their own version of College Re-Entry, which gives the staff incredible feedback about what students feel works and what could be improved. As a result, this fall we added a life skills track that now includes resume writing, interviewing, public speaking, budgeting and cooking classes. Life skills is integrated into our curriculum along with academic courses and wellness classes, which have been part of our program since the beginning.

"Our students have been asking for more practical training in the various life skills they struggle with as they learn to live on their own for the first time," says College Re-Entry’s Director, Jason Bowman. "In the four years since we launched the program, the importance of helping students with some of the things we all learn when we first leave home has become increasingly clear. These basic activities can be really stressful for students who do not yet have a handle on them. For students with serious mental health challenges, this kind of stress exacerbates other challenges associated with their diagnosis. If we can help them learn to strengthen the things they can control, they stand a much better chance of staying in school If we can help them learn to control the things they can control, they stand a much better chance of staying in school."

Our most recent class has given us additional ideas of what we can do to make the program even more effective. In 2018, we are adding a creative expression track that includes improv, creative writing, and fine arts. We look forward to continuing to evolve the program to meet our students needs.

As for our fall class . . . they enter 2018 by moving on to our supported flex program with the goal of taking an action academically at either four-year colleges, local community colleges or by taking non-matriculated classes. Congratulations to this class and to all of our students who work every day to simultaneously complete their educations while managing their diagnoses. We are so proud of you!