College Transition Program Preview: College Living Experience (CLE)

We had a chance to chat with Sandra Soriano, Director of Admissions & Outreach at College Living Experience’s Fort Lauderdale, FL campus. She answered some questions for us about how programs at CLE helps students transition to college.

A Transition Program for Asperger’s, ASD, and Learning Disabilities

How does CLE help students transition to life after high school?
College Living Experience (CLE) provides wraparound supports that are tailored to the student for a successful launch into independent adult life. Our supports are in the domains of social, independent living skills, which includes financial, academic, and career with executive functioning skills spread throughout each domain. On average our students receive between 20-30 hours of one-on-one support in addition to group activities.

How do we scale our supports?
When the student shows progress in an area, we gradually pull back supports as needed. Think of it like learning to ride a bike. We start with training wheels and tweak as needed. As they learn and gain confidence, we pull back and take off the training wheels. If they fall, we teach them how to get up. We don’t pick them up. We remind students that being independent doesn’t mean you never need help, it means you know when and who to ask for help.

Why do you think high school students choose to attend CLE?
CLE students are surrounded by like-minded individuals and they know they are not alone. They get the support they need with the independence they crave.

Social Life at College Living Experience

What type of social activities and support systems are available to students at CLE?
Our activities are led by the students and advisors. We have table top game nights, restaurant outings, cooking nights, bowling, events, and the list goes on from there. During one on one support we often role play and talk through situations the student may be facing. We help our students understand healthy relationships, safety concerns, and how to navigate today’s social world.

How long do students typically stay in the program, and what do they typically do after their time at CLE?
The average student stays approximately 2 years but it truly depends on the student. Many of our students attend a community college and later transfer to a four year college. Some of our students are attending technical or trade school, traditional 4 year college, or starting on a career path. We help our students discover their path, and then provide them with the skills to pursue that path.

Our students often lack confidence, not capability. Once they gain experience they build their confidence, which reveals their capabilities. College Living Experience (CLE) realizes that families and caregivers need support as well during this time of transition. That’s why we partner with Parent Coach Professional to guide parents through their journey.

Like CLE, our passion at Beyond Akeela is helping young adults with Asperger’s, NLD or other social quirkiness reach their full potentials. Learn more about our summer college transition program, how we teach campers transitional and social skills, and apply for the upcoming session today!

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