Individualized InstructionMoving towards optimal personal independence
The core curriculum offered through OPTIONS is designed to introduce students to a wide range of skills needed for either the College Transition track or the vocational Certificate of Completion track. All new students in OPTIONS will use their first semester course work as a basis for transitional assessment. Toward mid-semester, the OPTIONS staff will use each student’s performance and demonstrated competencies to make recommendations for the second semester.
The goal of the OPTIONS Team is to move each student toward his or her personal level of optimal independence. To facilitate this, there are three transitional levels of programming available that students may progress through:
New OPTIONS students participate in the Standard Program. This program provides extensive one-on-one assistance, guidance, and structure. Typically, students participate in the Standard Program for at least one year. Then, as students begin to make transitions to more self-controlled, self-managed environments, they are recommended to move into the next levels of programming based on their demonstrated levels of independence and competency.
The OPTIONS team recommends students for participation in the Modified Program when they have demonstrated individual readiness through at least two semesters of successful participation in the Standard Program at OPTIONS.
Students in the Modified Program are expected to be more independently accountable for their academic, independent living and social progress. They enjoy living in the OPTIONS apartment setting, but have increased responsibilities in regard to self-management as well as more privileges and independence than students in the Standard Program. Students in the Modified Program continue to be involved in classes at OPTIONS, internship experiences and/or community college classes. The OPTIONS team continues to provide support, instruction and assistance as part of the Modified Program, while encouraging students to meet the responsibilities and enjoy the privileges of greater independence.
In order to facilitate the eventual transition from OPTIONS, students have the potential of moving into a third phase of programming called the Extension Program. When a student demonstrates at least two semesters of success within OPTIONS, he or she receives an administrative invitation to participate in the Extension Program.
In this phase, students are expected to function at a highly independent level within their own living situations. Students secure and maintain living situations in the community, independent from OPTIONS staff. Students continue to be programmed for academic classes at the community college and/or at OPTIONS, to participate in internships within the community, and to receive speech/language services. Life skills programming assists the students with making and maintaining the transition into this most independent level of programming. Life Skills Therapists (LSTs) provide support in the context of the student’s living situation and as well as in the community. Extension students can participate in life skills support in the form of leisure guidance, grocery shopping and nutrition, Adult Decision Making groups, and Personal Development Guidance. LSTs schedule weekly meetings at the students’ apartments to encourage learning in the context of the living situations. Students at this level of programming are responsible for managing their own medical care, including medication management.