A Behavioral Services Program for College Students
For most young adults, balancing the demands of collegiate, social, and family life is an adjustment. Navigating a college campus, understanding staff and professor expectations, living away from home, sustaining work or internship, and/or living with a roommate are additional changes many of these students face. While these life changes are expected and manageable for most, some students have difficulties that require professional guidance in dealing with these challenges.
College Connections is a behavioral services program that helps college students with a combination of cognitive, emotional, and learning challenges. Our program works with students in developing the skills needed for successful participation in school, career, and community.
Typical College Connections students have a learning and information processing style that works well when new information is taught in a concrete, behavior-based manner. While many behavior-based programs are targeted towards young kids and/or individuals who tend to be moderate to low functioning, our College Connections program is designed for the higher-functioning young adult. Supporting college students ages 17-30 with a variety of difficulties; the majority of our participants are individuals with high-functioning Autism Spectrum, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity, anxiety (e.g. GAD, OCD), and/or learning disorders.
Moreover, participants of our program have difficulties that require support over extended periods of time to help them in strengthening the skills and abilities that they will need for successful independent adult life. Working with a primary support system helps people learn and generalize new skills faster. Therefore, this participation is important and required. While support systems vary among participants, it may include parents, family, educators, and residence advisors.
- An initial screening explores a family’s needs and goals, and makes sure they are consistent with what our program offers.
- Eligible participants who continue in the program complete a more comprehensive behavior assessment. This includes formalized measures and observations (residence, campus, and/or community) in order to gather baseline information. Creation of a customized “College Connections Support Plan” follows information gathering. The plan includes behavior-based goals in one or more of our program’s three primary focus areas of major life activities: Education and Occupation, Health and Life Skills, and Interpersonal Relationships.
- While the duration of our program varies on goals and abilities, we generally outline plans 6 months at a time; as we complete follow-up assessments to examine progress and facilitate program accountability.
Service Options: Our program teaches behavioral, cognitive, and interpersonal enhancement techniques to promote age-appropriate interactions with others; concentration and organization abilities; information processing skills; effective communication; independent life skills; health, safety and mobility; and academic and occupational success.
For example, some of the services available that may be included in a College Connections Support Plan are below. Please click on the links for more details on each of these services.
Peer Connections: Small group opportunity to develop and practice behaviors needed to establish and maintain positive peer social interactions, with the support of group facilitators.
Coach: One-on-two support (with similar ability/goal peer) helps progress and generalization. Fieldtrips in the community to practice learned skills across environments is an essential component.
Mentor: One-on-one support in controlled and natural environments, provides an opportunity for more individualized interventions than small group sessions can provide.
We have partnered with Occidental College to provide this program to their students on-site at the college. For more information you can contact Learning Dynamics directly or Occidental College Disability Services at (323) 259-2969.