Two ways to explore the Threshold Program
This is your chance to get firsthand information about the Threshold Program from expert faculty, our admissions team, and alumni.
1. Review the program materials on your own time and in your own space.
From the comfort and safety of your own home:
- Watch a tour of our residence halls.
- Hear what students and alumni have to say about Threshold in this video.
- Browse our Threshold Virtual Open House Presentation (PDF), where you'll learn everything you need to know about the program.
- Scroll down this web page to review the most frequently asked Student Questions and Parent Questions. Use our form to submit your own questions.
- When you're done looking through this page, browse our collection of Threshold alumni stories, and student spotlights on YouTube.
2. Attend a live Virtual Information Session.
Once a month, we host a one-hour Threshold Virtual Information Session on Zoom. Join us and meet Threshold staff and current students. Come with your questions about the program!
Top Student Questions
Making the transition to campus life is a big step. But when you know what to expect, everything seems easier. Here are the most common questions we receive from prospective students like you.
Have your own question? Send us your question on this form and we'll be in touch!
What will I learn at Threshold?
Threshold classes focus on 3 areas:
- Employment training
- Independent living
- Social development
In your first year, you'll explore different career options through internships, and learn fundamental work skills in class.
As a second-year student, you'll choose an employment path for your year-long internship, and learn more advanced independent living skills like cooking and managing an apartment. You'll also explore your creative side in electives like Dance, Improv, Creative Writing, and Creative Arts.
What are the internships like?
Our students have internships in a variety of places such as offices, preschools, nursing centers, pharmacies, fitness centers, doggie daycares, stores, restaurants, and cafés.
In your first year, you'll explore different career paths in a Fall Semester internship and a Spring Semester internship, working 5 hours twice a week. Most second-year students stay at the same internship all year and work 5 hours for 3 days a week.
Some internship sites are on campus or within walking distance. Most students take public transportation to get to their sites. If you’re not used to traveling on your own, we’re here to support you while you learn!
Where will I live?
Threshold has two residence halls located near the Threshold offices and Lesley’s Doble campus. They are recently renovated, have ID card access, and are fully accessible.
Each residence hall has a kitchen, a lounge, shared private bathrooms, and laundry machines. Your ID card gives you access to 4 on-campus dining facilities and 19 meals per week.
You'll find support from a Residence Life staff member who is on duty every night, with a phone number for emergencies. Most first-year students have a roommate that we match you with, based on what you tell us about your interests and habits.
Second-year students can choose a friend to live with or choose to have their own room.
- Can I see what the dorms look like?
Do Threshold students socialize with other Lesley students?
You’ll take classes with other students in Threshold, but you’ll share campus facilities with 2,000 undergraduate students. Threshold and undergraduate students eat in the same dining halls, use the fitness center and library, and participate in 30+ organizations and 16 sports teams together.
We support you in making choices about how to fill your leisure time and pursue your academic and extracurricular interests. You may choose to participate in undergraduate student activities, clubs, and sports to varying degrees, or you may prefer to spend most of your time with other students enrolled at Threshold.
You may choose to take an undergraduate class in your second year, or you may want to stay within Threshold’s course offerings.
What do students do in their free time?
Between classes and your internship, you’ll be busy at Threshold, but you'll also have unstructured time to yourself for meals, doing homework and laundry, getting involved in the community, and having fun! There are dining facilities on each of Lesley’s 3 campuses to sit down and catch up with friends.
Many of our students join clubs–such as the dance team–run track, or sing in the Cambridge Voices choir. Threshold hosts basketball every Saturday for students and alumni. Some students play, while others come to socialize and make plans for the rest of the weekend.
Threshold Activities Blog
Threshold students organize many of their own activities and events, from going to the movies and baking, to crafts and other fun projects.
Do students go home or stay on campus most weekends?
We encourage you to stay on campus as much as possible for the first 6 weeks because it is an important bonding time with your classmates.
Some students go home on the weekends to visit family and friends, but most want to stay on campus for activities and to spend time with the friends they’ve made at Threshold.
What kind of support do you get at Threshold versus high school?
Threshold’s curriculum helps you to become independent, and to grow socially and personally. You’ll get support in these skills in your classes and in the residence halls. Small classes mean you’ll get lots of personal attention. We have two weekly Study Group sessions to help manage your homework assignments.
Our live-in Residence Life staff can handle concerns you have as a young adult in a college setting, including the unique topics experienced by students in Threshold. Each student will have an advisor to discuss how things are going at internships and meet with a mentor once a week to check in and get extra guidance when needed.
What is different about Threshold from high school?
As a college student, you have a lot more independence than you did in high school. This can make some students a little nervous, while others are excited to step out on their own a bit more. When you come to Threshold, you'll find a network of faculty, staff, students, and alumni here to support you.
What might surprise you is finding out how capable and independent you can be!
What do most students do after graduation?
After graduation, you can continue to prepare for independent living in one of two optional programs—Transition Year or Bridge Year. And, you can start using the Threshold Alumni Center’s support services. No matter what path you take after graduation, our faculty and staff are here to offer support and encouragement. Threshold Program alumni live full and independent lives.
More than 75% of graduates live on their own and 95% of them tell us that they're satisfied with their levels of independence. Our alumni are working at jobs they love, pursuing their goals for higher education, spending quality time with friends, and starting families of their own.
But don't just take our word for it. Check out these alumni stories in this video:
Top Parent Questions
Seeing your student go off to school is a rite of passage for many parents. But that doesn't make it any easier. Learning how your student will find success and support while at school will help you rest easy. Here are the most common questions we hear from parents.
Have your own question? Submit your question through this form and we'll be in touch!
How many applications do we receive each year?
We receive between 75–90 applications each year for 24 spots. We are committed to making sure the students we select have an optimal chance for a safe, successful, and positive experience while attending our program.
The documentation that is part of our admissions requirements helps us determine if Threshold is the appropriate program for a candidate.
We invite qualified applicants for an interview after we've received all the admissions materials.
What is the age range of students?
Threshold students have completed high school and have received special education services in public or private schools. They would have achieved a high-school diploma, certificate of completion, or are on a transition plan.
Because we are a college experience program, our accepted students are 18–26 years old.
What is the Threshold Curriculum?
At Threshold, students engage in learning that helps them:
- Advocate for themselves
- Find meaningful employment
- Pursue personal and professional development
- Become independent, responsible, and socially connected adults
Our model integrates academics with practical, professional experience and promotes social engagement and self-reflection. All of this occurs on a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming college campus with a social justice mission and a student population that embraces peers from all backgrounds.
While some students prefer to stay within Threshold’s course offerings, others choose to take an undergraduate class in their second year.
What are typical courses that students take?
Threshold classes focus on 3 areas:
- Employment training
- Independent living
- Social development.
The first year is exploratory. Students begin to learn fundamental work skills in their courses 3 days a week while working 2 days at an internship. In their second year, students choose an employment path for a year-long internship 3 days a week and spend 2 days a week in courses focusing on more advanced independent living skills.
- Employment training courses include: Early Childhood Studies, Business and Support Services, Work World, Internship Advising
- Independent living courses include: Apartment Living, Food Lab, Personal Finance, Medical World, Consumer Skills
- Social and Personal development courses include: Fitness, Adult Sexuality, Personal Growth, Organization and Study Skills
What types of activities and clubs are available?
As Lesley University students, Threshold students have access to events and clubs sponsored by the university’s Student Activities and Support Office, as well as programs unique to Threshold. Some of our students have qualified to become members of Lesley Athletic teams, including track and tennis. While classes are in session, Threshold runs a basketball game every Saturday morning for students and alumni, a yearly trip to Great Wolf Lodge, and many other activities.
Who should families contact for financial aid?
Our students do not qualify for Federal Financial Aid; however they would still need to complete a FAFSA. This is how we determine the amount of scholarship awarded to each student. Some school districts fund students in the Threshold Program through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to fulfill the student’s Transition Plan.
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Learn more about the Threshold Program student experience, as well as get tips on how to find the right transition program for you.