Chicago Reader | Options For College Success by writer1

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Options For College Success

Tommy, an anxious student who had already flunked out of two colleges, arrived for an appointment accompanied by his parents. He had not been attending classes regularly. He often did not turn in his assignments on time, if at all. Sometimes, he studied for the wrong thing on tests, He was incredibly disorganized, stubborn, and, generally, just angry. These were signs that he had lost hope, but the faces looking back at him from the other side of the table saw potential and promised to do everything they could to restore that hope. Three years later, the very same student has already received an Associates Degree from Oakton Community College and has since furthered his academic studies by continuing his education at Northeastern University in pursuit of a four year Bachelor’s Degree with a graduation date set for August. The very same student is regularly on the Dean’s List and has even been elected to the student body senate. He walks tall with his head held high, a constant smile on his face and a newfound confidence in his stride. Young adults ages 18-30 who face roadblocks to success in school now have a chance to achieve their long-term goals. Options for College Success, located in Evanston, IL, is an individualized program dedicated to encouraging learning-challenged post secondary students to develop the skills, the confidence, and the courage necessary to transition into living independently and working productively. Options for College Success was founded by Christine Anderson, Executive Director, and Shoshana Axler, Director of Admissions and Development, as a federally designated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. “Our program is tailored to meet each student’s individual needs in order for them to achieve success,” said Shoshana. Options for College Success provides services in four areas: • Academic/Career Options: • Independent Living Skills: • Finance Management: • Social Skills: Preliminary meetings with the student, parents, and staff assess the needs of the student to determine how to proceed. A plan is developed for short-term success and necessary skills for future success. “We look at what the student can achieve instead of what they can’t achieve,” said Christine. Some of our students earn certificates or degrees in their chosen fields. They are now in careers ranging from early childhood education to engineering. Other students get training in specific job skills to make them an ideal candidate for a job. These jobs may be in the computer fields, culinary, customer service, sales, auto mechanic, or carpentry, and more. Some of the young adults enrolled in the program are day students, and others are residential students who live in apartments nearby with a Resident Advisor. In addition, a transition plan is developed so that the students can live independently when they leave the program. Options for College Success also offers an Extension Program for students who need less intensive services but could also benefit by additional support than what is offered at local colleges and universities. It is a wonderful option for the student who lives in a college dorm in the Chicago area. For further information, inquiries or to schedule a visit, please contact: Shoshana Axler Options for College Success 820 Davis Street, Suite 455 Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 425-4797 Email: Or visit To schedule a presentation by Christine or Shoshana or an interview, contact

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