Quick Links

student with summer gap year program info For students with learning and attention issues, it’s an age-old story: they trot off to mainstream colleges with big dreams (but without the accommodations they need) only to run headlong into bigger problems managing assignments and relating to professors and classmates.

Then, the inevitable: their confidence sinks, and they plot their escape plans.

Finding the road to a stellar GPA without a GPS can leave struggling underclass college students feeling lost and hopeless.

To help put struggling collegians who may have dropped out or taken a GAP year back on the right track, Beacon College is launching a campus residential program, “The 7-Day College Edge,” which launches in June, and aims to help defeated college students press the reset button.

“For many students, once they depart high school there is little support in unstructured months for skill development. This ultimately leads to regression, or the ‘summer slide,’ which then makes the transition back to college even that much more complex,” said program creator Alex Morris-Wood, associate vice president of transitions and the student experience at Beacon. “Coupled with current research on retention and sustainment at colleges for students with learning differences, my team felt it necessary to pilot a program that actively addresses barriers leading to attrition.”

Through self-assessments, interactive workshops, and individual and group coaching, the College Edge hones executive functioning, social integration and emotional well-being, critical thinking and reading, writing, and career readiness – five core areas for college success.

Over seven days, participants discover how to better navigate campus life, engage in social activities, and apply those lessons to forge success when they resume their college pursuits.

“Participants will also dive into the social world of college,” Morris-Wood said. “Students will reside in our residence hall and engage in regular dormitory activities. Each evening, students will receive a social lesson, all in which support healthy relationship development. And of course, we need to have fun! Students will go to local hangout spots for individuals 18+ and take in all that Orlando has to offer … which of course, is a theme park.”

In its pilot year, The College Edge will enroll 20 students, explained Morris-Wood, and he noted that within two weeks of announcing the program, 20 students had applied “demonstrating a significant need for this program.”

The program concludes with a family advising session that explores their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of consideration when transitioning back to their environment. The College Edge team provides concrete recommendations related to services and environmental considerations to increase post-secondary success.

For more information, see “The 7-Day College Edge.”