Social Counseling

VIP is one of the few college-based transition programs in the country that offers both vocational training and a residential component. This unique opportunity affords students with disabilities the chance to experience a college living environment, while practicing their independent living and social skills under the supervision of specially trained, professional staff.

Many students with neurologically-based learning disabilities struggle with the multiple demands of the social setting at college. The Vocational Independence Program has a staff of dedicated, master's-level counselors and social workers who provide support, training, and referrals to all of the students in the program. Generally, the student meets weekly with the social counselor to review adjustment issues; however, these meetings are tailored to the student's individual needs.

Counselors work with students on socialization, skill development, problem solving, and decision making. The goal is to maximize each student’s potential in developing social relationships and self-confidence so they can function independently.

The Social Counseling Team:

  • Leads the "Dare to Care" Program - an empirically-based, positive school-wide expectations program know as the "Bear's Code"
  • Meets with students individually on a weekly basis to discuss program-related issues
  • Teaches socail communication, relaxation, self-advocacy, goal setting, and relationship skills
  • Organized coffee house nights
  • Facilitates the fitness electives, as well as the dean's lecture series, and pedometer challenge
  • Mediates student issues
  • Monitors student's participation and engagement in social activities
  • supervises student clubs
  • Trains residence life staff in active listening skills and crisis management
  • Identifies and mentors students to become student ambassadors for the program
  • Refers students to therapists and other health care providers for evaluations, medication reviews, and on-going psychotherapy