Autism Speaks: College Internship Program – (Autism/Aspergers)

Please share this information with others!

I was so excited to hear about this program (CIP-College Internship Program)! Someone very close to me shared this information from the Autism Speaks website. She has been instrumental in helping me understand about Autism and being on the spectrum.     Anyone with a loved one that has specific learning differences or has been diagnosed with disorders on the Autism spectrum, knows the unique challenges it presents. Parents often wrestle with understanding how to best meet the needs of these children and resources are often very limited.

I’m obviously a big supporter of education. I believe we have to identify the gaps in our educational system in order for all of us to be more successful. Despite the fact that approximately 1 out of 68 children now fall on the autism spectrum, there seems to be so few programs that specialize in helping them become productive independent adults. I would even dare say that in many instances, we in this nation spend more money on non violent criminals than on college prep and occupational programs for law abiding citizens with learning differences. The more help we can provide to these young people the better.

I’m glad that there is now greater awareness on this issue and that this program exists. The cost of the program is extremely high but, in the spirit of true economics, my hope is that once more and more programs like this become more popular perhaps the costs will be driven down. In the meantime I will follow up with FAFSA to see if something like this may be covered. I will report my findings back here on the blog in a couple weeks. Also the Autism Speaks website has some information on grant opportunities and the vocational rehab offices in many areas can provide some assistance as well. Please share any information regarding Educational and Career Opportunities that would help these young people to become productive, independent adults.

College Internship Program

Notable Celebrities with autistic children include: Holly Robinson-Peete, Toni Braxton, and Jenny McCarthy

Holly Robinson Peete

Toni Braxton

Autism Live

CNN Link

Entrepreneurship is a career choice too!

Zollipops

Kidpreneurs: Product Zollipops

I recently had an opportunity to work with several younger kids and teach them about entrepreneurship.  It was actually an Entrepreneur Camp.  The students were from all different backgrounds and the majority of them were in middle school.  Each one of their quirky personalities made me laugh and realize that you cannot take life too seriously.

When the program ended I reflected on that experience and how we need to better prepare ourselves and our children for the future.  I truly believe that each one of those kids are capable of being successful.  The question is, are we as adults/parents grooming them to be successful?

These kids came from every walk of life but, there was a common thread among them.  The students who knew this was an Entrepreneur Camp came ready to learn, while the students who didn’t know what the camp was about initially struggled to understand why they were even there.  The good news is that no matter what their starting point was they were all intelligent and resilient kids that were eventually able to grasp the concepts and successfully complete the class.  These kids were able to jump in and with a little assistance they got the hang of things.  Unfortunately it’s not so easy when they are older.

As I sit back and think about it, this very experience represents how we often push our kids towards the traditional college mold without much direction.  That’s what we’ve been taught.  It’s the next logical step if you want a good job.  Right? Well consider the fact that more than 1/3 of the kids that go off to college drop out after their 1st or 2nd year.  Oftentimes the kids headed off to college don’t have a clue and they like the middle school kids above struggle to figure out why they are there.  The difference is that there is now a huge price tag involved and lack of preparation can be like placing a chain around them because of the excessive debt they face.

Not every kid is going to have a 4.0 gpa and attend Harvard but, everyone has something to offer. Let’s expose our kids to lots of different options.  Entrepreneurship is another option for students and parents to consider.  If a kid has a trade or certain licenses, they can start their own practice or work as an independent contractor and possibly make even more money than someone with a traditional college degree.  The traditional path is not for everyone.  With entrepreneurship a kid can create a job opportunity for themselves and others as well.

As adults/parents let’s celebrate the differences in our children and expose them to various career options even during middle school.  In the process we might find that not only are they headed in a different direction, but we could inspire them, encourage them empower them and save a lot of money in the process.

Additional Resources:

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cva.asp

Free College!!!

In this day of excessive college debt, it’s always great to learn about new possibilities that make college more affordable.  With the average 2015 college graduate owing more than $35,000, the free college options listed below are excellent choices. (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/05/08/congratulations-class-of-2015-youre-the-most-indebted-ever-for-now/)

REPOST:   COLLEGE

22 Colleges Where You Can Earn a Degree for Free. Seriously.

Deep Springs College, California
Brian L. Frank—ReduxAt Deep Springs College in California, students pay their way by working on the ranch.

You’ll never have to take on a student loan at these schools.

A few new proposals are calling for making college free nationally—either for two years or all four. But experts say it could be some time before we can entirely say goodbye to tuition bills on all schools across the nation.

In the meantime, there are some places where college is already free, either for all students or those who fit certain criteria. So if you want to avoid ever signing your name to a student loan, you might add these schools to your list.

Programs that make students earn their keep: Those enrolled atAlice Lloyd, Berea, and Deep Springs colleges work to pay their full tuition—at Deep Springs, on the school ranch and farm.

Programs that reward locals. A program called Tulsa Achieves offers every high school graduate from Tulsa County, OK with at least a “C” average a full ride on tuition and fees at a local community college, local tax revenue. A local oil company pays all tuition and fees at any college or university for graduates of El Dorado High School in Arkansas. And anonymous donors do the same thing for students who attend public kindergarten through high school in Kalamazoo, Mich., and go on to a Michigan public college or university.

Programs that reward service: The U.S. military, Navy, Air Force,Coast Guard, and merchant marine academies charge no tuition for students who are accepted and serve a military term or time at sea. CUNY’s Teacher Academy gives a gratis education for education students who graduate and teach at least two years in the New York City public schools.

Programs that seek talent: The Curtis Institute of Music is free for students who pass a demanding audition, and Webb Institute for a handful of the most promising engineering students. The Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York waives tuition for applicants who can meet the tough admissions requirements—including an “A” average in high school.

Programs with a religious bent: Barclay College, a bible college, is an example of a religious school that is free.

Programs that recognize need: Very highly selective universities with big endowments have also acted in the last several years to make tuition free for students from families with certain incomes—MIT for families that earn $75,000 or less, Harvard and Yale $65,000 or less, and Columbia,Cornell, Stanford, Duke, Brown, and Texas A&M $60,000 or less.

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This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University.

The Myth of Working Your Way Through College

Repost from :The Atlantic

A lot of Internet ink has been spilled over how lazy and entitled Millennials are, but when it comes to paying for a college education, work ethic isn’t the limiting factor. The economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses—a feat that would require superhuman endurance, or maybe a time machine.

To take a close look at the tuition history of almost any institution of higher education in America is to confront an unfair reality: Each year’s crop of college seniors paid a little bit more than the class that graduated before. The tuition crunch never fails to provide new fodder for ongoing analysis of the myths and realities of The American Dream. Last week, a graduate student named Randy Olson listened to his grandfather extol the virtues of putting oneself through college without family support. But paying for college without family support is a totally different proposition these days, Olson thought. It may have been feasible 30 years ago, or even 15 years ago, but it’s much harder now.

Read More

The Hidden Costs of College – Repost

Repost – CollegePlus

It doesn’t take a college genius to know college is expensive! Take the average family’s current college spending of $20,882 per year, multiply that by four years, and a bachelor’s degree is over $80,000.

But there’s actually one more hidden cost, lurking in the shadows that very few parents realize: The hallowed, four year bachelor’s degree is actually taking most students five years to finish. Right now, only 19% of students finish their bachelor’s degree in four years.

So why does college take so long?

Here are the big reasons college takes five years, along with solutions you can use to protect your family from wasting time in college.

1. Excessive Remedial Courses

If students come into college unprepared for college level work, they are assigned non-college courses to get them up to speed. For example, fully half of community college students are assigned remedial courses, slowing down their progress.

Defense: Encourage your student to show their college ability through competency-based testing, and insist on only taking class time for courses that offer college credit.

2. Overloaded College Advisors

Look around a university web site for a couple of minutes and you’ll see how complicated degrees can get. There are General Education requirements, specific course prerequisites, discipline-specific courses…the list goes on. That can all be figured out, if your student gets enough time with their college advisor. Problem is, the average college advising session lasts less than a quarter of an hour because hundreds of students are competing for their time. That could be why the average BA student ends up with 14 credits more than what they need for their degree.

Defense: Find a college advisor who has time to help you. Or hire a degree advisor who can build a plan with you based on your student’s goals.

3. Degree Changes and Credit Transfers

Six of every ten students transfer on to another school before they graduate. Because of complicated transfer policies between schools, many students forfeit some of their hard-earned credits each time they change. Add in degree major changes and American students waste $19 billion every year on credits that won’t transfer.

Defense: Learn how transfer credits work, help your student find purpose in life, and get degree planning help to make sure you know your destination before you start.

4. Classes Not Available Every Semester

With the overloaded college advisors, they may not catch every change in the course catalog that affects your student. The impact? The prerequisite your teen needs for the next term may not be offered when they need it. That forces your teen to either waste their time or risk earning unnecessary credits.

Defense: Change colleges or find the same class that works from a different school and transfer it back.

5. Lighter Course Loads and Part-Time Status

To graduate in four years, students usually need to take 15 credits every semester for eight semesters. Going part-time can be appealing to the busy student, but part-time students rarely finish on time. Making a decision to take one less class in a term suddenly adds time to the end of a degree. This is often overlooked in the confusion of registration day.

Defense: Be committed to finishing what you start. Plan on fifteen credits per semester to finish in four years. Or, find a flexible college option that lets you earn credit when most colleges are not in session.

By researching ways for your child to finish college in less time, you’ll be giving them the best graduation present possible—a year of their life back.

Learn more about strategies to save time in college.

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