Advance LA


The Help Group’s Advance LA is now accepting applications for the Summer College Institute, a weeklong independent college living program for young people between the ages of 16 and 23. The program serves young men and women with a wide range of needs including learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, executive functioning difficulties, ADHD, and other social or emotional issues. It is designed to prepare them for the transition to college or support those who are already enrolled but may need additional skill-building opportunities.

Enrollment in the program includes a one-week stay on a college campus, use of all college facilities, access to the computer lab for special projects, use of the fitness center and recreation areas, the opportunity to learn valuable skills that can be applied to college or the workforce, and a full schedule of on and off campus activities. The program provides participants with the chance to improve social skills, meet new people, and develop friendships with peers facing similar challenges.

“As young adults transition from high school to college, they often find themselves unprepared for many of the complex skills required to be successful,” says Rachel Round, M.A., Director of Advance LA. “Successful college living requires not only managing more difficult academic demands, but also more nuanced skills, such as the ability to advocate for oneself, manage and maintain a clean living space, and generally increasing levels of independence and responsibility. This program provides them with the opportunity to learn and practice many of these skills in a fun and supportive environment.”

The core component of the Summer College Institute is its emphasis on skill-building. Program participants will learn life skills, such as money management and physical safety; executive functioning, which includes organization, planning, and time management; and social connections, the development of healthy and long-lasting relationships with peers. The program will also focus on academic supports, such as identifying colleges and exploring interests and passions; health and wellness, which promotes healthy eating habits and includes strategies for dealing with stress; and internships and careers, giving participants the opportunity to explore career paths and learn job interview techniques.

The Summer College Institute will be held July 21-27 on the American Jewish University campus, located in the Santa Monica mountains. The program includes six nights in a college dorm, a meal plan, and evening social and recreational activities. A day program is available for those who do not wish to participate in the residential option.

For additional information, please contact the Advance LA office at 818-779-5198 or To learn more about other transition services offered by Advance LA, visit

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