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High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education (HYPE) Program

 

Contact

Dr. Jennifer Dawson
Director SPARC
Phone: (610) 430-5678
Email: jdawson@sparwc.org

Dena Kelly
HYPE School Year Director SPARC
Phone: (610) 430-5678
Email: dkelly@sparwc.org

Cherie Fishbaugh
Director D-CAP WCU
Phone: (610) 436-3168
Email: cfishbaugh@wcupa.edu
  

How to Apply

Now accepting applications
for fall 2021
Interviews for fall 2021 will
begin the week of July 26.
Space is limited so apply soon!

Apply Online

Resources

The High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education (HYPE) Program is a two-year, after-school program at Devereux SPARC in West Chester, Pa., and includes a two-week summer program at West Chester University.

The Devereux SPARC and Devereux Pennsylvania Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) programs, in partnership with West Chester University, will provide transition-age students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) an opportunity to prepare for university life, community integration and future careers/employment. This program will benefit students by: building skills that will assist them in identifying possible majors and areas of interest; exposing them to a college living environment; and helping them increase community integration skills. HYPE will provide meaningful learning experiences for students with autism – and university students – in the following ways:

  • Participating students will have opportunities to develop social skills and form relationships with similar-age peers, while learning the skills needed to achieve maximum independence as a university student and/or as an adult.
  • Students will learn these vital skills, beginning their junior year of high school through after-school learning activities, community-based experiences, summer employment and living in a dormitory for several weeks during the two summers prior to entering college and/or the workforce. There will be a two-year curriculum that will begin in June, before their junior year, and end in August, following their senior year.
  • Through peer mentoring, university students will have opportunities to deepen their understanding and acceptance of individuals with autism, while learning critical professional skills and potentially earning college credits and/or compensation.
  • Students enrolled in WCU’s Dub-C Autism Program (D-CAP) also will be asked to act as peer mentors.

Look below to view a video about the HYPE Program.

To be eligible for HYPE, students must:

  • Have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Attend classes independently (do not require 1:1 assistance)
  • Be on track to attend a two- or four-year higher education institution to pursue a degree

HYPE School Year Program (Pilot Fall 2021)

Participants: Junior and senior high school students. Note: Year 1 of HYPE is only open to high school juniors. You must enter HYPE at the onset of your junior year.

Location: SPARC, located at 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester, PA 19383

Duration:

  • Students: Two hours, one night a week throughout the school year program
  • Parents: Two hours, one time a month throughout the school year program

Goal: To provide students with ASD meaningful educational activities and supports, enabling them to maximize their independence and help them become prepared for university life.

Student Objectives of Two-Year Program

  • Increase self-determination abilities
  • Enhance communication, social and problem-solving skills
  • Improve management and organization of time, as well as materials related to school or work
  • Augment skills related to independent living (e.g., money management, weekly schedule planning, meal planning/preparation, cleaning and organizing living areas, laundry, self-care)
  • Increase skills related to community integration and the ability to live with roommates in a dormitory/apartment setting
  • Help individuals prepare for post-secondary education and employment
  • Develop routines that increase health and safety (e.g., healthy eating habits, exercise, hygiene, managing medical appointments)

Parent Objectives of Two-Year Program

  • Increase knowledge of post-secondary education laws
  • Prepare and promote strategies for parental change of role as student turns 18 and increases independence
  • Improve communication skills between parent and student
  • Provide support for various emotions associated with these transitions

HYPE Summer 1 (Pilot Summer 2022)

Participants: HYPE students who have completed School Year 1 program at SPARC

Location: West Chester University

Duration: 10 days (five days, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with immediate debrief; five days, four nights, Monday-Friday overnight).

Goal: To prepare students with ASD for college life by providing them with an on-campus experience, generalizing the acquired skills from the HYPE school program.

Objectives

  • Experience campus life, commuter style and residential style
  • Access dining hall options
  • Generalize skills acquired in the HYPE school program (e.g., self-determination, social, time management, independence, community integration, safety, problem-solving, communication)
  • Acquire information and experiences with campus services, including: health and wellness, psychological and counseling, OSSD, trans and queer advocacy, D-CAP and LARC
  • Tour and experience various on-campus facilities, including the recreational center, library, student union, bookstore, dining halls, residential buildings and academic buildings
  • Participate in a variety of classroom/activity formats (e.g., lecture, lab, studio, structured, unstructured)
  • Acquire, practice and/or generalize college classroom etiquette and communication skills
  • Create and deliver a presentation on experience, as well as skills acquired and needed to transition to college
  • Learn the difference between entitlement and eligibility (IDEA versus ADA) for high school to higher education

HYPE Summer 1 (Pilot Summer 2023)

Participants: HYPE students who have completed School Year 2 program at SPARC and graduated high school (age 18+)

Location: West Chester University

Duration: 11 days (overnight), Monday- the following Thursday, Friday is a debriefing day

Goal: To prepare students with ASD for college life by providing them with an on-campus experience, generalizing the acquired skills from the HYPE school program.

Objectives

  • Experience campus life, residential style
  • Generalize skills acquired in the HYPE school program (e.g., self-determination, social, time management, independence, community integration, safety, problem-solving, communication)
  • Access meal plan options (e.g., dining hall, Rambucks, meal swipes, cash)
  • Attend workshops via campus resources to acquire/review skills in the areas of resiliency, stress management, studying, budgeting, self-advocacy and classroom etiquette
  • Participate in activities and workshops to learn more about majors-to-careers, employment opportunities, volunteer experiences and early start programs
  • Identify, locate and receive information on various campus resources, including the career development center, writing center, tutoring, public safety, counseling and LGBTQ
  • Develop a schedule that includes time set aside each day for activities, such as meals, self-care/ downtime and transitions from one activity to the next
  • Create a schedule that incorporates time for group projects or meetups with individuals with various schedules
  • Create and deliver a presentation on experience and skills acquired and needed for the transition to college
  • Practice skills for problem-solving and self- advocacy via scenarios associated with entitlement versus eligibility (IDEA versus ADA) for high school to higher education