Gain skills in Cambridge, MA this summer.

Lesley University's Threshold Program offers a five and a half-week residential summer program. This program is perfect for Threshold students who want to keep up their skills during the summer, as well as current and recent high school graduates. In this program, you'll live in college dorms, take classes, gain skills, and explore Boston. And it all happens with close support and supervision in the world's best college town, Cambridge.

Discover if inclusive college is right for you.

Our summer program combines academic instruction with hands-on employment training and weekend events in Boston. Designed on the three pillars of our program, you'll spend the summer gaining employment training, acquiring independent living skills, and learning social skills development through the use of drama therapy using all assets of the human arts.

If you're in high school or if you've recently finished, our program is a great introduction to learning what life is like in an inclusive college experience. Commuter options may be available on a case-by-case basis.

The program runs from:

July 8 to August 15, 2020

Applications open in late January of 2020 and space is limited.

Program of Study

You'll spend 4 shifts each week at a community-based practicum (internship) as a primary component of the summer program.

Each afternoon after the internship, you'll take courses designed to support your career readiness, independent living skills, and self-determination.

  • Personal Finance

    Learn about banking, money management, and consumer skills in this course. Learn how to assess your current money management habits and learn the principles of sound budgeting. Learn how to save and budget for weekend activities and for incidentals.

  • College Life

    Learn how to prepare and plan for inclusive college experiences/college-based transition programs. The course will cover topics like personal organization, living with roommates, email and computer skills, intro to college academics and planning your next steps.

  • Cooking

    Learn the basics of cooking such as measuring, kitchen etiquette, nutrition, meal planning, and kitchen safety.

  • Practicum Seminar

    This seminar is paired with an internship to support specific skill development related to the internship and helps you to navigate practicum expectations.

  • Work Readiness

    This course teaches vital skills for employment. It is based on the Threshold program's 37 years of experience in career education and work-based learning.

  • Navigating Boston

    More than just a “travel training” class, you'll learn the ins and outs of how to get around, how to find new places, and how to handle common commuting conundrums. In this course, we pair classroom preparation with actual travel experiences on the MBTA, Boston’s public transit system.

  • Physical Fitness

    At Threshold, we value the importance of keeping individuals physically fit and active in their adult lives. In this course, you'll use the university’s fitness center and outdoor spaces to learn new and fun ways to stay in shape.

Dudley Williams Walking Outside
Alumni Story
Dudley Williams III ’10

A resident of Somerville, MA and a Marketing Coordinator at John Hancock, Dudley lives a full, independent life, which he credits to the support he gained at Lesley University.

Living on the Lesley campus and in the Boston area.

You'll stay in a college dormitory next to the Threshold offices. Lesley University Residence Life is modeled after the typical undergraduate residence life experience with live-in resident staff who are on-call on nights and weekends. A curfew will be set but we do not perform bed-checks.

We provide three meals a day on weekdays and two meals a day during the weekend. Additional meals or snacks will be at the student's expense. As a participant in the program, you'll explore the Greater Boston area with Lesley staff on Fridays and weekend. You'll also get to know our active alumni community (over 700 strong!) through joint activities with our Alumni Center.

Who can apply?

Summer program applicants are young adults ages 18-25 with a documented learning, intellectual, and/or developmental disability. Students must also be independent with self-care and taking medication as well as be able to live safely in a dormitory setting with a level of supervision consistent with college residence life.

This includes:

  • Students already accepted into Threshold's core program for fall
  • Students already enrolled in Threshold’s First Year OR enrolled in the Second Year AND planning to do the Bridge Program as their next step. *Other Second Year, Bridge, and Transition students are not eligible.
  • High school students who are eligible for Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) until age 21 or 22
  • Young adults who have completed high school (with or without a diploma)
  • Students enrolled in another program without a summer program (college-based or not) who want to continue to build skills during the summer
Photo of people standing on a large map of the Boston subway system

Explore Boston

During our summer residential program, you'll explore Cambridge, make friends, and learn how to travel on the Boston subway. Feeling confident traveling to and from home is one of the keys to living an independent life.

Application Requirements

The online application, other required forms, and pricing information will be available beginning in late January, 2020. The application and the following supporting materials must be submitted by April 1, 2020.

Create an online account before you start your application. This account allows you to stop your application and return to complete it later. Once you’ve begun your application, and until you submit it, you can work on it as many times as you want.

The application process is as follows:

  • 1. Submit Forms & Materials
    • Online Summer Program Application Form, completed by the parent
    • Parent Questionnaire, completed by the parent
    • Applicant Questionnaire, completed by the student
    • Official high school transcript, or certificate of completion
  • 2. Complete Assessments & Evaluations

    Education Evaluation

    Evaluations should have been conducted within the past 3 years. Include grade level equivalents that were obtained on one of these tests:

    • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
    • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA)
    • Most recent IEP or Section 504 accommodation plan (if applicable)

    Psychological Tests and Adaptive Assessments

    Tests should have been administered in the past 3 years. The WAIS* is a programmatic requirement. Adaptive Assessments and other types of assessments may be chosen from the list below:

    • Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS-III)
    • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2 (ADOS-2)
    • Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R)
    • Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC-3)
    • Conner’s Behavior Rating Scales (CBRS)
    • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Rating Scales (VABS) (including the maladaptive subscale)
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and a full protocol (all sub-test scores and verbal, performance, and full-scale scores) and a written report*. A WISC (Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children) will not be accepted.

    The assessment needs to include a psycho-social history and a combination of psychological tests, and adaptive rating scales. The assessment must be in narrative form and include recommendations for any treatment (psychotherapy or medication) the psychologist finds necessary for the student to function independently in a campus setting.

    The goal is to address emotional, behavioral, and social issues that might influence the fit between the student’s needs and the program’s ability to meet those needs. The choice of instruments (the tests listed above) depends on the psychologist’s knowing the student’s cognitive abilities and using appropriate techniques for that student.

  • 3. Receive Recommendations

    Submit three recommendations from people who’ve known the applicant for six or more months. At least one reference should come from a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor.

    If possible, one reference should come from an employer or work supervisor. Other possible reference writers include a psychotherapist or social worker. Relatives or family friends are not suitable references.

    Use our official Recommendation Form.

  • 4. Have a Personal Interview

    We’ll contact qualified applicants to schedule an interview after we’ve received all of their admissions materials.

  • 5. Understand Costs and Refund Policy

    Tuition, Room, & Board costs will be posted in late January.

    Refund Policy:

    Threshold Summer Program will be using the Lesley University Short Courses, Conferences & Travel Study refund Policy. Since the program is five and a half weeks, there is a 100 percent refund if you drop the course prior to the start date, July 8, 2020. Once the program has begun, there is no refund. All program costs must be paid in full prior to July 8.

  • Important note to parents

    Student safety is of utmost concern to us.

    No system can guarantee protection without the full cooperation of and assumption of responsibility by resident students. Consequently, we ask that you carefully evaluate your student's maturity level and ability to manage their personal care and safety in an urban environment before they apply for a summer program.

    Medical emergency information

    All medical emergencies will be handled by calling 911. We encourage students to review their insurance information prior to arriving on campus and to bring their insurance cards with them for the summer program. Health Services will not be available on campus. Students will be directed to Partners Urgent Care in nearby in Porter Square for non-emergency medical concerns.

Contact the Threshold Program