Threshold at Lesley University is a college-based program for young adults with diverse learning differences. For more than 35 years, we’ve been helping students navigate life with confidence.

At Threshold, dorm living, student activities, and a curriculum focused on career training and independent living create a college experience that feels both authentic and supported. Students get support from caring faculty and staff at every step of their journey. We're here for them during the two-year core program and after graduation through two programs that guide transition into the working world.

With nearly 700 alumni and access to the diverse and lively neighborhoods of Cambridge, Massachusetts, opportunity for social engagement is just around the corner. Threshold graduates can count on our Alumni Center for continued support. And with an extensive network of internship providers and employers, we're ready to help students pursue their career goals.

Our Students

The Threshold Program focuses on students with a specific range of learning differences. Students who find the greatest success want to learn in a college setting and are highly motivated to become independent. Students typically have these characteristics:

  • IQ: 70s–80s (Average for our students is 78.)
  • Reading Comprehension: Grades 3–7
    (Math is often at the lower end of the range.)
  • Qualified for Special Education services
  • Would struggle in a degree-seeking program
“If someone had told me that my son would be doing all the things he’s doing today, I couldn’t have imagined it. It blows us away how far he’s come.”
Threshold Parent ’10

Program Structure

About 24 students enter our two-year, full-time academic program each fall. They live in the heart of campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the entire program.

Courses and internships in the academic program prepare students for a variety of careers. After graduation, students are encouraged to enroll in one of our post-graduate options: 

  • Bridge Year
    A 9-month program where select students continue to live on campus and work in internships. Students enroll in Bridge Year if they need additional support before entering Transition Year.
  • Transition Year
     A 10-month program where students live off campus in an apartment and work toward getting paid employment.

All graduates of Threshold use the Alumni Center for job and housing support as well as for ongoing social connections.

Contact the Threshold Program