Individualized Instruction

The core curriculum offered through OPTIONS is designed to introduce students to a wide range of skills needed for one of its two tracks: the College Transition track or the vocational Certificate of Completion track. For new students, the first semester of course work is used to assess their transitional path. As the midterm approaches, the OPTIONS staff will use each student’s performance and demonstrated competencies to make recommendations for the second semester.

Our goal is to move each student toward their personal level of independence. To facilitate this, there are three transitional levels of programming available that students may progress through, listed below.

3 Phases of OPTIONS

The 3 phases of OPTIONS Transition to Independence are:

  1. Standard Phase
  2. Modified Phase
  3. Extention Phase
Standard Phase: A Strong Foundation

New OPTIONS students participate in the Standard Program, which provides extensive one-on-one assistance, guidance, and structure.  This phase of programming offers the most support, including classes at the OPTIONS Academic building, speech and language support services, and apartment supervision and guidance by our Independent Living Coaches.

Typically, students participate in the Standard Program for at least one year. As they transition toward more self-controlled, self-managed responsibilities and environments, students’ demonstrated levels of independence and competence are assessed. With recommendation, they can move into the next levels of programming.

Modified Phase: Expanding Horizons

Following at least two semesters of successful participation in the Standard Program, and upon demonstrated individual readiness, the OPTIONS team recommends students for participation in the Modified Program.

Students in the Modified Program experience more responsibility than those in the Standard Program, and are expected to maintain personal accountability for their academic commitments, independent living goals, and social progress. They enjoy living in the OPTIONS apartment setting, but with increased responsibilities in self-management. Students in the Modified Program continue to be involved in classes at OPTIONS, internship experiences, and/or community college classes, while the OPTIONS team continues to provide them with support, encouragement, instruction and assistance.


Extension Phase: The Launchpad to Your Future

In order to facilitate their eventual transition away from OPTIONS, students have the opportunity to move into a third phase of programming called the Extension Program.

Upon demonstrating at least two years of success in previous phases, a student may receive an administrative invitation to participate in the Extension Program. In this phase, students are expected to function at a highly independent level: they secure and maintain living situations within the community (and without the supervision of our Independent Living Coaches); may be employed by a nearby business or institution; and utilize other skills and strategies to lead safe, successful, and empowered lives.

Students at this level of programming are responsible for managing their own medical care, including medication management. However, weekly Life Skills courses (including group meetings that encourage the development of adult decision-making skills) are provided to encourage learning in the context of students’ individual living situations. Speech and language sessions, as well as College Support courses for students pursuing college degrees at nearby institutions, may be provided, as well.