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  • Staff Writer

The Benefits of Northwest College Support's Summer Program

For many, the prospect of going to college for the first time can be stressful even to think about. The months between high school graduation and the beginning of college are the prime time to prepare for the changes that you'll be going through. At Northwest College Support, our summer program involves preparing students for the challenges to come. It is meant as a bridge for students to feel ready for the changes and have time to practice the skills needed to thrive in college.

The Summer Program

Our summer program is a nine-week program, including four (4) transferable credits and an internship. It is designed to help students practice and develop skills that will make them successful as they enter their freshman year. This program is a structured experience that provides support during this transition. Below, we will outline the basic components of our summer program and their value for incoming students.

College Courses

During this program, students will be enrolled in two nine-week courses at North Idaho College. The credits are transferable, making them beneficial for your overall degree. While these credits are often electives, they are a great place to start for many college students. It can help you to understand how it feels to be in a classroom with the support of a structured program. These courses are also a chance for students to test out a couple of different topics to see what they enjoy.

Learning to be successful in the classroom is vital to being successful in college courses. Regardless of whether you intend to take courses online or in person, certain skills are needed. In this program, you can learn to manage your time, schedule, and overall academic skills.

Therapeutic and Life Skills in the Summer Program

Including daily therapeutic groups and life skills coaching, this program offers a unique experience with the goal of teaching students to learn skills that will help them to be successful in a new environment and during a transition. Both emotional and physical skills are taught and will vary to some degree for each individual.

Due to the high rate of mental health concerns among incoming college students, learning to manage mental health is particularly important. One research study found that improved emotional intelligence decreased a student's risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions. It includes being aware of emotions, communicating them, healthily relieving stress, and empathizing with others. Our summer program helps students to develop emotional intelligence through group therapy, individual counseling, and social outings.

Learning how to live independently can feel daunting for many young adults. Skills like cooking, cleaning, managing a schedule, and more are very important. However, young adults commonly move out of the house without them. Learning life skills during the summer program allows students to enter college with a sense of confidence in living independently. Through the program, they have support and are taught skills. Such a setup serves as a halfway point between living with family and living independently.

Many life skills help students as they enter college. One such example is how to manage stress effectively. Research has shown that common coping mechanisms like self-isolating or more screen time increase the overall stress level. However, stress management options like exercise decrease overall stress levels. In the summer program, students learn methods of managing potential stresses in a safe and structured environment. This skill and others learned in the summer program can make a massive difference in success for an incoming college student.

Adventures and Community Outings

If you do not know much about Northern Idaho, it is a beautiful place with many options for outdoor adventures. These outings have many benefits for younger adults, including building a social network, exploring a new area, and discovering new enjoyable activities. When students first enter college, especially in a new area, there are many things to explore.

Learning to go into a new setting, and finding your way around a new city or place, is a skill that takes confidence and willingness. During the summer program, these outings are supported with structure, helping students to grow confidence for their next move. For some students who choose to stay in Idaho, this can also act as a foundation for the years to come.

Setting out on an adventure with other students is also a great way to form friendships and practice social skills. During college, you will meet many other students who are likely to be from varying backgrounds. Learning to ask questions, communicate, and socialize with new people is a skill that you will use in college and beyond. During this program, students are encouraged to build connections while participating in activities. In doing so, you build skills that can help you to build friendships and connections in college.

A lot can happen during the summer before freshman year at college. For students who benefit from a more structured support system, the summer program at Northwest College Support provides that and more. We offer this program to a limited number of young adults who are looking to gain skills and have support before entering college. For some, this is a jumping-off point to continue college in Idaho, while others may continue on at another location. Regardless, this program offers a full experience of learning skills, experiencing a new environment, and connecting with peers who are in a similar phase of change. Call Northwest College Support today at (877) 485-2776 to learn more.

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