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High School Summer Program

There is more to being part of a college community than living on campus. This three-week program instills the values of mutual respect, dedication to academic achievement, and opportunity for personal change and growth. When it is time for them to matriculate on to a college campus, students in this program will be better prepared to interact with faculty members and fellow students.

Program Dates: Saturday July 9 – Saturday, July 30, 2022*

Costs:   Traditional Track: $5,785
              Social Pragmatics Track: $6,960
                 Plus $75 refundable damage deposit
(Cost includes double occupancy residence hall room, meals, and activities).       
*Classes will be held on Friday and residence halls will close at noon on Saturday the 30th.

Our High School Summer Program is for students who find it challenging to keep pace academically. We’ve designed this program to introduce students to skills and strategies that will help them prepare for college-level work and experience college life as members of a learning community focused on their success. We recognize some students may need additional support to make friends, adapt to a new sensory environment, and find community. Our social pragmatic track is designed to help build these skills.

During the program students are encouraged to develop a greater appreciation of learning through experiential and practical activities. Students learn to apply writing process strategies, understand their academic strengths and personal learning style, integrate stronger academic strategies and practices, and begin to focus on the development of better habits for success.

The program curriculum is separated into three segments of course work: a core course providing a foundation for other coursework and activities; a writing class that covers the basics of good writing; and a general elective providing an opportunity for students to apply what they’re learning. Each week day students participate in three courses, activities each afternoon, academic prep four nights a week, and group programs and activities on the weekend.

We know not everyone learns in the same way. Our experience with young people who learn differently suggests a sense of self and good insight into one’s individual learning style can make a big difference in outcomes at school.

Our experienced summer faculty and staff will help students begin to:

  • Understand individual learning differences
  • Develop a writing process that uses proven techniques to write faster, more clearly, and with fewer struggles
  • Integrate strategies and practices into content courses
  • Focus on the development of better daily habits

NOTE: Students must be between 16 and 18 years of age, have completed their sophomore year of high school, and be returning to high school in the fall. Participants are not required to have a diagnosed learning disability to participate.

Financial Aid is available and awarded upon acceptance. Financial aid applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage parents to submit an application for financial aid early.

“Landmark College’s High School Summer Program has made a positive and palpable difference in my daughter’s self-esteem. The daughter we picked up from the program had become noticeably more mature in a mere three weeks’ time. It was one of her best learning experiences ever, and has helped both academically and emotionally to prepare her for college.”

“Our son had an amazing experience at Landmark! It was a great boost to his self-esteem and his learning skills.”

“We were very pleasantly surprised at the shift in attitude, self-confidence, and pride.”

“The social interaction available to our son was terrific for him. It gave him a glimpse of what college could be like.”

“The program was a perfect fit for my daughter. We would have liked a longer program to develop her writing skills, as well as her reading comprehension skills. After high school, we may send her back to Landmark College’s Transition to College program before beginning college.”

“The social skills and the pre-college experience were invaluable!”

“I can’t say enough good things about the program! My son is so much more confident now. He loved it so much, he’s applied to attend Landmark College next fall.”

“The greatest benefit from the program was in meeting other kids who are like him—he is maintaining these friendships and feels a lot less ‘different.’”

“We noticed significant growth and maturity in our daughter!”

“I think the program was terrific. It’s just too soon in the school year to see whether our son will show any benefit at this point. Given his particular issues, I’m not surprised. I didn’t expect a dramatic result from a 3-week program. That said, we’re sold on Landmark College—and he is, too. We’re hopeful he’ll be able to attend as a full-time student next fall.”

“My daughter had an absolutely positive experience. She made new friends that she is still in contact with. It helped her to see that many people have learning disabilities like her. Our high school has a very strong support services department, so I don’t think there was a whole lot more for her to learn about her disability—although she was able to complete a very well-written college essay at Landmark College.”

Like other colleges and universities, Landmark College admits a diverse class of students every year. Landmark College, however, does not simply admit learners on the spectrum; we have set, as a strategic priority, development and refinement of services that are integrated, progressive, and student-centered.

As described in the Academic Program section, the Strategies for College Success core course includes two days per week of PEERS® instruction. PEERS® is evidence-based social skills instruction where students will learn through didactic lessons and role play demonstrations.

Students will also receive 1:1 social coaching to support them in how to apply the skills from their weekly lessons. Parents are encouraged to participate in a weekly, online, evening session to review the lessons and learn tips on how to support their student.


  • Core Courses:

    Learning Strategies Seminar—Required for all students in the Traditional Track: This course will reveal the “art” of learning by integrating a variety of learning strategies that can improve each student’s ability to learn. The course will cover such important areas as perception, attention, emotion, memory, and motivation, as well as how we communicate what we learn through speech and writing.This class orients students to elements of goal setting, organization of time, materials, project planning, strategic learning, and self-advocacy, through a highly interactive, hands-on curriculum. Students will consider their own learning styles and challenges as they study brain-based research about learning. The use of technology will be discussed, and the skills of active reading, note-taking, test taking, and summary writing will be introduced.

    Strategies for College Success—Required for all students in the Social Pragmatics Track: This course will help prepare students for the demands of living on a college campus and attending college classes. There will be a strong focus on social communication instruction that supports students’ development of in-class discussion, personal communication, and peer-to-peer conversations. Students will learn a variety of study skills and organizational methods that further support college academic success. Further, students will consider their own learning styles and learning challenges and determine their strengths and areas for improvement. Once these strengths and areas for improvement are identified, students will use this information to consider long-term goals. Students will produce a portfolio by the end of the course that includes useful resources, tools, and strategies that will support college success.

    This course includes two days per week of PEERS® instruction. PEERS® is evidence-based social skills instruction where students will learn through didactic lessons and role play demonstrations. Students will also receive 1:1 social coaching to support them in how to apply the skills from their weekly lessons. Parents are encouraged to participate in a weekly evening session to review the lessons and learn tips on how to support their student.

    Writing Classes: Students will select one course from the options listed below:

    Research and Writing: For students who are comfortable with the basics of writing, this course introduces students to the requirements and expectations of college-level writing. Students will learn how to structure and develop essays for college, including how to write research papers with in-text citations and lists of sources. Research & Writing will focus on active reading and on opportunities to research and write the research essay. Students will write two or more essays. The first essay will be a description of and reflection on one or more personal adventures of special significance. The second essay will concentrate on an investigation and analysis of a journey of historical importance.

    Building Confidence as Writers: For many people, producing writing on a deadline is a challenge. This course is designed for students who find it difficult to generate effective writing in an academic setting in spite of their honest efforts to do so. By focusing on structure, process, and self-understanding, students can develop strategies and approaches to increase their success. High interest topics and assignments are designed to engage students and to encourage them to find meaningful connections to their writing.

    Writing the Effective Essay: Writing that is clear, honest, concise, and persuasive is a general requirement for academic success at the college level, and it is what colleges look for in application essays. Students will be introduced to the goals and structures of personal and persuasive writing and will work to develop a personalized and strategic approach to their own writing process. Using prompts typically found on college applications, students will write an essay that can be used as a model for their own college application essay.

    Academic Prep:

    Academic Prep is offered four evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Academic Prep is also a time for students to gain expertise in the use of Assistive Technology.

  • Electives:

    Providing students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in more conventional academic offerings. Course content is intentionally varied. These courses are true electives, and students are encouraged to enroll in a course that may not ordinarily be available in a typical high school curriculum.

    General Elective courses may include: 

    High School Math: Algebra II Preparation
    High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation
    Sports & Culture
    Technology for Learning
    Digital Photography
    Vermont Field Biology
    What’s in a Song?

    Drawing: This course is an introductory course in drawing, but will also provide continued instruction for seasoned mark makers. Emphasis is on strategies, methods, and techniques for translating three-dimensional form and space onto a two-dimensional surface using the language of line, value, and the illusion of depth and texture. Mark making and its expressive and descriptive qualities will be examined.

    High School Math: Algebra II Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take Algebra II this fall. Specific content includes the study of algebraic functions, their graphs, and trigonometric basics. Building on a strong foundation of mathematical knowledge, this class is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, helping them to prepare for Algebra II.

    High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take pre-calculus this fall. Students will review and be introduced to the concepts necessary for a smooth transition into pre-calculus.

    Sports and Culture: Are you interested in sports in America? In this course, we will look at the role sports play in our society. Using materials from a variety of sources, students will examine the relationships sports have to individuals and social organizations. The course will cover current issues in sports, such as the nature of competition, performance enhancement, violence, gender issues, and multi-million dollar contracts.

    Technology for Learning (Assistive Technology): Do you wonder how you can use technology to help you become a better student? Have you ever been told you should try Dragon or Kurzweil, but haven’t known where to begin? Are reading and spelling challenging for you? In this course, you will learn about three of the assistive technologies used at Landmark College: Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech), Inspiration (concept/mind-mapping), and Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech-to-text). Additionally, we will present other technology options, including OneNote and many free options such as Readability, WebNotes, StudyBlue flashcards, Wunderlist, LeechBlock, and ToDoList. You will learn through a process of classroom discussion and activities, small-group interaction, hands-on training, homework assignments, and a final evaluation. This course will present you with a solid foundation for pursuing AT upon returning to your high school or going on to college.

     Digital Photography: Learn and Shoot: The best camera in the world is the camera in your pocket. Whether you use a phone, DSLR, or point and shoot, come and learn the basics about camera functions, lighting, and composition. After quick mini-lessons, practice using your camera outside or in easy-to-create studio set-ups. During this workshop, we’ll explore camera terminology, composition, storytelling, and post processing. We’ll examine student’s work in online critique sessions and “how to” post-processing demonstrations. This workshop will encourage everyone to “get out” and start taking amazing images.

    Theater: Students in the theater elective will experience play-making through improvisation. Students will learn how to harness their artistic voices and turn their ideas and opinions into performance that makes a statement! The students will work as an acting company functioning in various roles, such as actor, writer, or stage hand. We will be working with theater games from the beginning of the course. As a group we will define areas of interest to explore and create scenarios and characters to work with. We will add and refine material for our play, which will culminate in a public performance at the end of the program.

    Vermont Field Biology: Learn about local wildlife, plants, and ecosystems, along with other basic concepts of ecology. Take field trips to local areas, such as streams, rivers, wetlands, mountains, and meadows to study ecosystems and to practice scientific observation. Students will keep a field notebook, do a simple a field project, and will be expected to hike over varying terrain. Weather permitting, students will observe a biologist in the field netting and banding wild birds.

    What’s in a Song: This course is for any student who has an interest in music and/or songwriting. No musical experience is required. We will explore a variety of musical genres and experiment with songwriting. The course will be collaborative and discussion based. Students will be encouraged to share and critique a variety of songs. Students can work together or independently to explore creating songs and lyrics. In our three-week class, we will endeavor to answer the following:

    • What makes a song good or bad?
    • When is songwriting complexity better than simplicity and vice versa?
    • What genre of music do you prefer and why?
    • What are the rules of a good pop song? Country song? Punk song? Jazz song?

    Academic Prep:

    Academic Prep is offered four evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Students are able to work alone, in groups, or in a supervised setting. Academic Prep is also a time for students to gain expertise in the use of Assistive Technology. All Academic Prep locations feature desktop or laptop computers for student use.

  • The Residence Halls:

    Not only will students be immersed in rich academic work, they will also live among their fellow students within residence halls on campus. Residence hall rooms are double-occupancy, so students will have a roommate. The halls are wing-based, and students will be separated based on gender. Residence halls are appropriately staffed by professional Resident Directors (RDs) and a host of college-aged mentors, known as Resident Assistants (RAs). This team helps students to bridge the gap between their classroom experiences and the rest of their day and evening. These RDs and RAs, many of whom also have identified learning differences, help students engage in the community and ensure a secure living and learning experience. Students experience a safe, supportive, college-like setting during their three-week stay in the residence halls at Landmark College.

    The Dining Hall:

    Students will enjoy meals together in our dining hall, which offers a wide variety of choices, including an array of hot and cold entrees, soup, pizza, a sandwich and salad bar, and extensive vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

    Weekend Activities:

    We work to make sure students have plenty of fun during their experience on campus!

    Saturdays and Sundays provide an opportunity for students to participate in supervised, group programs. These are more than fun experiences—they also teach students how to handle themselves in larger groups and provide opportunities for greater independence. Students will enjoy activities including an on-campus carnival day featuring fun games and activities like a giant slip ‘n’ slide and possibly even a visit from the Kona Ice Truck, as well as an ever-popular Student Talent Show.

    Afternoon Activities:

    Afternoon activities provide a balance to the day and run every weekday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. Students are asked to sign up for an activity they will participate in on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the entire program. Some of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday activity options offered in the past include: basketball, ceramics, art, lawn games, music, soccer, theater tech, Magic: The Gathering/Dungeons & Dragons, film & discussion, and yoga. Students sign up for activities after enrollment in the program.

    On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students will rotate through a series of activities including a visit to nearby Brattleboro, a chance to try out our on-campus zip-line and ropes course, as well as a quick walk to a nearby mountain peak that will afford views of the southern Vermont and New Hampshire mountains.

  • Daily Weekday Schedule for the High School Summer Program (both tracks)

    7:30 – 9 a.m. Day Starts (Wake up, Breakfast, Health Services,...)
    9 – 10 a.m. Class Period 1
    10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Class Period 2
    11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Hall/Free time
    1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Class Period 3
    3 – 4:30 p.m. Extracurricular Activities (structured time)
    5 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall/Wing Meetings/Free time
    7:30 – 9 p.m. Academic Prep (Study Hall on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur)
    9 – 11 p.m. Free time
    11 p.m. All students in their Residence Hall
    11:30 p.m. All student in their wing (Residence Hall)
    Midnight All student in their room, lights off, door closed
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