CIP Summer Programs for Students with Learning Differences

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

University students on their way to class

CIP Summer Programs for Students with Learning Differences

The transition from high school to college marks a significant and transformative phase in a student’s life. For individuals with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences, this journey can be particularly exhilarating yet filled with unique challenges. Navigating the academic, social, and personal aspects of college life requires skills and support that go beyond the conventional. Enter CIP Summer Programs, a beacon of guidance and preparation that has been illuminating the path to success since 2009.

Designed with the specific needs of students with learning differences in mind, these programs serve as a crucial bridge between the familiar environment of high school and the uncharted territory of college and beyond.

They offer a platform for students to acquire essential skills and build the confidence and resilience needed to thrive in the college setting and beyond.

CIP’s commitment to facilitating a successful transition is evident in its tailored approach, addressing the diverse challenges faced by individuals with autism, ADHD, and learning differences.

By providing a supportive and nurturing environment, CIP Summer Programs empower students to embrace the opportunities that college presents and overcome the hurdles that may arise.

In essence, CIP Summer Programs act as a cornerstone for these students, laying the foundation for a journey toward independence, self-discovery, and academic achievement.

As the educational landscape evolves, these programs continue to stand as a testament to the belief that every student, regardless of their learning differences, deserves the chance to successfully navigate the exciting yet challenging path from high school to college.

students walk at the college yard holding notebooks and smiling

What to Expect

Summer@CIP offers a two-week immersive experience for high school students entering grades 10, 11, and 12, as well as recent graduates. The program focuses on honing essential skills needed for a smooth transition, whether heading to college, joining the workforce, or embracing independent living.

Dive into the Adventure

Imagine spending your summer not just learning, but having a blast with over 30 planned activities tailored to your interests. From outdoor escapades like hiking and swimming to exploring local attractions, Summer@CIP ensures your experience is educational and downright fun.

Past participants have raved about exciting activities like ropes courses, theme park adventures, and even catching a game at a professional sports outing. Plus, there’s scheduled downtime to unwind and socialize with peers, creating lasting memories.

Who’s Invited?

If you’re entering high school grades 10, 11, or 12 in the fall, or you’ve recently graduated, you’re welcome to apply. Each program accommodates up to 30 participants, ensuring a supportive and personalized environment. All applicants undergo assessment to guarantee the right fit.

Admissions Essentials

The admissions process at CIP is designed to be thorough yet straightforward.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum, ADHD, Nonverbal, Dyslexia, or other learning differences.
  • Minimum Full-Scale IQ of 80.
  • Stability for at least one year.
  • Ability to independently manage medications.

Motivation Matters

Applicants should be enrolled in mainstream classes without requiring constant 1:1 support.

Academic Requirements

  • 6th-grade level reading fluency and comprehension are essential, showcasing commitment to program engagement.

students walk and chat on a college campus

How to Apply

Ready to take the plunge? The application process involves submitting forms, including a parent questionnaire, recent neuropsychological examination, IEP (optional), and two letters of reference. A $125 non-refundable application fee seals the deal, and a recent student headshot photo adds a personal touch.

Key Dates

Take note of the important dates if you want to enroll in CIP summer programs.

  • New Applicants Deadline: March 31 (Ongoing consideration until capacity is reached)
  • Returning Students Deadline: February 28.
  • Interviews and Acceptance: Continuous process.
  • Confirmation Time: Participants confirm acceptance within two weeks.


CIP Summer Programs help students gain practical experience, develop essential skills, and make valuable connections in their chosen fields. But what core components make these programs so effective and enriching? This essay aims to dissect the fundamental elements of CIP Summer Programs and explore how each contributes to the overall effectiveness and value for the participants.

Social Skills Development

Individuals at CIP take an active role in shaping the trajectory of their lives, fostering enduring friendships, and building social networks. The programs implemented provide a meticulously structured support system and adhere to an evidence-based curriculum.

The linchpin connecting various elements of CIP’s extensive curriculum is social competency. Cultivating social skills and competencies is paramount in the landscape of independent life within the CIP community.

Particularly for those on the autism spectrum or with learning differences, the journey toward social and emotional growth takes precedence over other forms of personal development.

To facilitate this growth, CIP orchestrates individual and small group sessions where participants discuss various topics and practice navigating real-life social situations. Instructors play a pivotal role, in guiding individuals through crucial areas such as perspective-taking, reciprocal conversation, body language, eye contact, and social awareness.

Academic Support

Tailored for students with autism, ADHD, and learning differences, college academic support is a key focus at CIP. As you embark on your educational journey at a local college or university of your choice, CIP ensures comprehensive academic assistance.

Working towards a certificate or degree, CIP students receive support from the academic team, aiding them in various crucial aspects.

Firstly, identifying goals, majors, and suitable degree paths is a foundational step. Navigating and accessing educational institution services and accommodations is facilitated to ensure a smooth academic experience.

Developing executive, social, and academic skills is a priority, empowering students to manage and complete coursework effectively. Effective communication with college personnel, as well as with CIP advisors and families, is emphasized to enhance the overall academic experience.

Through individual and group sessions, students also learn related skills crucial for success in higher education.

The academic department’s responsibility extends to helping students build social and executive functioning skills within an educational environment, recognizing these as pivotal for achieving academic independence.

Acknowledging the unique strengths and challenges of individuals on the autism spectrum and with learning differences, CIP’s dedicated staff provides invaluable guidance and support. This support aids each student in identifying and pursuing a field of study that is both challenging and attainable, ensuring a fulfilling academic journey.

Students collaborating on project on campus

Employment Support

In supporting college-age students on the autism spectrum and those with learning differences, CIP’s career services offer invaluable real-life internship and job experiences. Explore the possibilities with CIP’s Career Continuum, putting your skills to work with expert support and direction.

Competitive employment demands individuals with social skills, the ability to manage executive functioning tasks like time management and organization, and independent living skills.

For those with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum or with learning differences, securing and maintaining a competitive job that ensures a living wage necessitates the development of these vital competencies.

Guided by CIP’s career team, students embark on a journey of learning and development, acquiring a diverse range of employment skills through training, counseling, community service, and hands-on internship/job experiences.

The Career Team at CIP facilitates students in:

  • Assessing an inventory of relevant employment skills and interests.
  • Developing pre-employment skills and creating a comprehensive “career portfolio.”
  • Managing and nurturing relationships with places of employment.
  • Providing support during on-the-job experiences.

Independent Living

Independent living preparation is provided through residential apartment living support, specifically designed for students with learning differences and autism. The focus is on acquiring practical, real-life skills essential for fostering independence.

The Life Skills team plays a crucial role in instructing and demonstrating key skills and competencies, allowing students to apply and adapt them within the familiarity of their households. Furnished apartments ensure that each student has a private bedroom, while common areas are shared with at least one roommate.

Within this framework, students are encouraged to engage in productive exploration and community connections actively. Emphasis is placed on maintaining a high level of health and safety within one’s living environment and the broader community.

The goal is to build life skills competencies and establish routines that promote interdependence, creating a solid foundation for successful independent living.

Health and Wellness

Optimal performance is achieved when individuals maintain a sustained level of wellness. Core areas of focus within CIP’s health and wellness options include diet, fitness, and preserving mental health. The aim is to facilitate access to greater levels of health and well-being.

Recognizing the diverse goals and interests of every CIP student, a combination of group and individual sessions is deemed most effective in meeting the varying needs present within the student body.

Engaging in enjoyable wellness modules, CIP students actively participate, seizing opportunities to incorporate healthier routines into their daily lives seamlessly.

Guided by CIP’s Wellness Team, students are supported in various ways:

  • Participation in a diverse range of wellness-related activities.
  • Development of skills and knowledge pertaining to health and wellness.
  • Access to appropriate community health resources.
  • Integration of long-term wellness habits into their lives.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Creative Arts

Creative Arts programs present distinctive opportunities for young adults with learning differences to express themselves and artistically cultivate their unique interests and talents. Across all CIP centers, diverse creative and performing arts options are available.

Every CIP location offers exclusive chances for students to express themselves artistically and nurture their distinctive talents. These optional classes serve to augment CIP’s core values, particularly in the realm of social executive functioning.

Engage in the following:

  • Expand your creative interests and talents.
  • Showcase your artwork in a professional gallery annually.
  • Participate in enjoyable performances alongside your peers.


Advisors collaborate individually with students, focusing on goal setting, self-assessment, and the cultivation of self-advocacy skills. Leveraging their experience, CIP’s Advisors play a crucial role in guiding students and their families through the challenging transition from adolescence to adulthood.

The Student Advisors at CIP engage students one-on-one in tasks encompassing goal setting, self-assessment, building self-advocacy skills, and addressing day-to-day challenges. By establishing robust relationships, advisors lay the groundwork of trust with students and their families.

Tasked with overseeing the formulation of each student’s personalized plan, Student Advisors are responsible for coordinating progress reports and maintaining open communication with the CIP team, the student, and their parents or family members. CIP’s Student Advisors assist students in:

  • Identifying their suitable supports within CIP.
  • Developing Person-Centered Plans.
  • Establishing personal goals and evaluating progress.
  • Mapping out each student’s journey on the Continuum of Growth, spanning from self-awareness through self-determination.
  • Updating families, external professionals, and CIP staff on student progress.

Executive Functioning

Mastering daily activities like punctuality, organization, and participation in social and recreational events hinges on executive functioning skills, denoted as “EF” at the core of CIP’s advanced curriculum.

The interdisciplinary team of staff at CIP integrates executive function support throughout the program for students on the autism spectrum and those with learning differences. In this context, CIP staff aids students to:

  • Navigate organization, medication management, and self-care within their living space.
  • Prepare for academic success through the implementation of “Bookends Academic EF.”
  • Acquire a shared understanding of Executive Function concepts and language through participation in “EF 101” modules.

Cheerful Indian asian young group of college students or friends laughing together in campus

Tips for Maximizing Your CIP Summer Program Experience

To make the most of your CIP Summer Program experience, consider the following tips:

Stay open-minded: Embrace new ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and seize every opportunity for growth.

Connect with your peers: Actively engage with fellow participants, as building connections and friendships will enhance your overall experience and provide a support network throughout the program and beyond.

Take advantage of resources: Use the program’s resources, such as library facilities, mentoring programs, and workshops. These resources are designed to support your academic and personal growth. The library facilities offer a vast collection of books, research materials, and online resources to aid your academic pursuits.

The mentoring programs provide guidance and support from experienced professionals, allowing you to gain valuable insights and advice. Additionally, the workshops offer hands-on learning experiences and practical skills development.

Set goals and reflect: Take the time to set personal and academic goals at the beginning of the program. Regularly reflect on your progress and adjust as needed to stay on track. You can measure your achievements and stay motivated throughout the program by setting goals.

Have fun: While the program offers rigorous academic coursework and personal development activities, remember to enjoy the experience and make lasting memories. Participate in social events, explore the local area, and take time to relax and recharge. You can make the most of your CIP Summer Program experience by balancing academic pursuits and leisure activities.

Final Thoughts

CIP Summer Programs offer more than a way to fill time during the school break. They provide invaluable life experiences and open doors to opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable.

Whether you’re interested in diving deep into academic subjects, getting a head start on your career, or honing specific skills, there’s a program tailored to your needs. Make your summers count by investing in a CIP Summer Program and giving yourself growth, knowledge, and long-lasting benefits.

It is important to have all the necessary information before making any decision. AdmissionSight is always here to help you with any questions or concerns. We have over ten years of experience helping students successfully navigate the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out how we can help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are fully informed and prepared for the application process. We will work with you to develop a personalized plan that meets your specific needs and goals. We will also provide you with access to our team of experts who can help you with everything from choosing the right schools to writing your essays.

Don’t let the admissions process overwhelm you. Contact AdmissionSight today and let us help you achieve your dreams.

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