Frequently Asked Questions

Are students required to live on campus?

Answer

Yes. VIP is a fully residential program, and has always been. The Independent Living portion of the VIP curriculum and experience is critical, and one of the main goals of the program is for students to move towards being able to live on their own. For many young adults, going away to college is their first real independent living experience during which they learn to manage their time, develop a healthy lifestyle and establish healthy and productive routines.

What are the backgrounds of your staff?

Answer

The philosophy of VIP is that no one profession can assist students with special needs, so we have incorporated a multidisciplinary approach for the program. Consequently, our staff members have degrees in fields such as education, special education, instructional technology, English, counseling, school counseling, social work, psychology, nursing, anthropology, and human relations, to name a few. Most have masters degrees in their fields.

What is the ratio of students to staff?

Answer

It is approximately two students for every one professional staff member, including our paraprofessional resident advisors.

What are the resident advisors' backgrounds and training?

Answer

The resident advisors are NYIT undergraduate and graduate students who are earning degrees in a variety of fields. They are hired and directly supervised by VIP Administrative staff. Each year, they receive training in: working with students with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, basic counseling skills, crisis management/procedure, community development and social programming, CPR and first aid.

What is the supervision like in the residence halls?

Answer

We are a college-based independent living skills program. Consequently, the supervision is similar to that of a typical college residence hall. Our resident advisors are on duty every night of the week until 11pm. Members of the VIP Administrative Team work very closely with the resident advisors and are on-call 24/7 in case of emergency. The ratio of students to resident advisors is approximately 6:1.

What security precautions can I expect?

Answer

Both the NYIT Long Island and SUNY Old Westbury campuses have 24/7 security, and students are oriented on what to do in case of an emergency on campus. The residence hall entrances are locked, and students carry keys to access the building and their bedrooms.

Will I have a roommate?

Answer

The VIP residence hall is a suite-style building and has a mixture of mostly double rooms and some single rooms. Placements are made by the VIP residence life staff each fall, and though we welcome room preferences and additional information to consider, we cannot guarantee that a student will get their preference. Single rooms are typically reserved for resident advisors, upperclassmen, and those with certain mobility/medical needs.

What kinds of recreational activities are there for the students?

Answer

Apart from the variety of activities offered by NYIT to all students, VIP runs its own activities and trips every day of the week. On weekday evenings, our residence life staff creates and runs events in the residence hall (yoga, dance parties, game nights, karaoke, crafts, workout sessions, etc.). On the weekends, our students typically can choose from four organized off-campus trips to places like the movies, bowling alley, sporting events, malls and museums.

What is the difference between the academic-year offerings: Pre-Degree focus, Employment focus and the Associate Degree Support Program?

Answer

Students in all VIP programming are supported by a team of VIP staff, live in the VIP residence hall, participate in the VIP curriculum and afforded social/recreational opportunities. There is time built into each student's schedule for either credit courses or work placements.

If a student is not at all interested in credit coursework at NYIT and would like to focus their efforts on work, it is recommended that they pursue the Transition to Independence Program: Employment Focus.

If a student would like to try NYIT credit courses at a slow pace to earn some credits without having to be accepted by NYIT Undergraduate Admissions, it is recommended that they pursue the Transition to Independence: Pre-Degree Focus. These students would have limited internship opportunities and would not earn enough credits to qualify for a degree.

If a student is academically capable of being accepted by NYIT Undergraduate Admissions and interested in carrying a full-time courseload (12 credits per semester) resulting in an AAS degree after 3 years, it is recommended they pursue the Associate Degree Support Program. These students must apply separately to VIP and NYIT Undergraduate Admissions, and would not be provided any internship experience.