Extended Programs

The P.A.C.E. Transition Program

Purpose of the Program: The P.A.C.E. Transition Program is designed to assist young men and women who are graduates of the P.A.C.E. Program in the next step toward independence. Adjustment to the broader world of work, apartment, and community life presents new challenges for most P.A.C.E. graduates. Maintaining a connection to the P.A.C.E. Program at this new level helps graduates to benefit from uninterrupted service and support in a familiar environment when facing new life challenges.

The P.A.C.E. Transition Program provides continuity and instruction for students as they build skills necessary for independent living. Just as the P.A.C.E. Program provides a bridge from high school to life in a university setting, the Transition Program provides a bridge from the more protected world of school to transitional living and independence. Students receive instruction in skills needed for increased independence. Skills first introduced in the P.A.C.E. Program, such as instruction to learn and reinforce concepts, problem solving, utilizing available resources, and practicing to gain proficiency, are broadened and extended to suit growing needs and more independent lives.

Length of the Program: The average stay in the P.A.C.E. Transition Program is three years with diminishing services. The first year in the program is the most structured and supervised, with students receive full time services. The second year provides full time services, but supervision is dependent on the student’s needs. but is less intense, as reflected in the lower tuition rate. The third year is usually a menu of services during which the students receive one to four services according to their continuing needs in Social group, Job support, Independent Living instruction, and/or Classes.

Philosophy

The Transition Program extends the P.A.C.E. philosophy. Instruction and encouragement are partner strategies to promote independence. Students are faced with new challenges, but are supported with familiar strategies to meet new needs.

The Transition Program allows students to enhance their independent living, vocational, academic and social skills with staff support in each area. Students are taught to safely live in the community, while experiencing a full life, including work, time with friends, apartment maintenance and integration in the community.

Admission to the Transition Program

The choice to join the P.A.C.E. Transition involves a process of assessment and decision making for students, parents and staff. Much of the curriculum during the second year of the P.A.C.E. Program is directed towards issues of independence. Students are asked to think about and plan for the next steps in their lives. The P.A.C.E. Transition Program is one option, but not the only option after graduation from P.A.C.E.. For some, the Transition Program seems to be a natural fit, while for other students, remaining in the familiar dorm setting while focusing on enhancing skills for independence feels more comfortable. In some cases, returning to home communities or moving on to other educational opportunities proves to be the best fit. Each student is considered individually, along with their family, in order to identify the most appropriate choice for life after P.A.C.E..

Many factors are considered in assessing each student’s readiness for movement towards independence. Taken together, they tend to be fairly reliable indicators, including:

  • Employability - Two years of internship experience gives a fairly accurate picture of professional ability. Also considered in this area are: interviewing skills; telephone skills; advocating for one’s self in a professional context; and enthusiasm. To be truly employable, students need to be motivated to participate in their job search and feel a sense of responsibility to work
  • Life Skills - Another emphasis in the P.A.C.E. Program is developing skills in budgeting, hygiene, housekeeping, organization, and time management. Although some skills are still developing, and support continues to be needed, the student needs to show some proficiency in life skill areas, along with an interest and motivation to function independently and to create a home for oneself.
  • Maturity - A main focus in the P.A.C.E. Program is on problem solving. Making good judgments and decisions, asking for help, awareness of problems, willingness to accept ownership, trying a variety of solutions, and handling crises and emergencies calmly and appropriately are all indications of maturity. Students should be developing the ability to take the perspective of others, and to work to compromise and cooperate in the best interest of the group.
  • Socialization - Skills in networking and planning with each other are helpful in the atmosphere of independent living. When living away from the group, students must be motivated and skillful in creating a social life. Students should be developing the ability to balance their lives, taking an active interest in play and fun, as well as work and responsibility.

Admission

A limit of 25 students are admitted each year. Admission to the program is based on an assessment of each student’s readiness in the areas of employability, life skills, maturity and socialization.

Students generally benefit from participation in the transition program for about three years. As they become more proficient in independent living, they need fewer services and can transfer the skills they have learned to another community, including their hometown.

Areas of Concentration

Students are evaluated quarterly in four areas of concentration:

  1. Apartment Living - Being able to “live on your own” is a major step in a student’s personal development. After moving into an apartment, an independent living instructor assists each student in areas ranging from bill paying, cooking and cleaning to dealing with roommates and landlords.
  2. Jobs - Students are helped and encouraged at all points during the job search—as well as provided assistance in adjusting to, and then keeping, a new job.
  3. Classes - Weekly seminar classes are held on campus and in students’ apartments to encourage a pattern of lifelong learning.
  4. Community - As part of the process to become members of a larger community, students are required to participate in volunteer projects, plan dinner parties and other social events, take a class off campus, and mentor new students.
Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603

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  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123

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  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077

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  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532

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  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090

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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634

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  • WISCONSIN

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007

    (414) 577.2658 Info » | Directions »
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