Threshold's Virtual Open House
This is your chance to get firsthand information about the Threshold Program from expert faculty, our admissions team, and directly from alumni. From the comfort and safety of your own home, you can:
- Watch a welcome video from our director, take a tour of our residence halls, and meet students and alumni.
- Browse our virtual open house presentation (PDF), where you'll learn everything you need to know about Threshold.
- Scroll down on this page to go through a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions, and even ask us your own questions.
- When you're done looking through this page, you can browse our collection of welcome videos, Threshold alumni stories, and student spotlights on youtube.
What will I learn at Threshold?
Threshold classes focus on 3 areas:
- Employment training
- Independent living
- Social Development
In your first year, you will explore different career options through your internships, and learn fundamental work skills in class. As a second-year student, you will choose an employment path for your year-long internship, and learn more advanced independent living skills like cooking and managing an apartment. You will also get to 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 including: offices, preschools, nursing centers, pharmacies, fitness centers, doggie daycares, stores, restaurants, and cafes. In your first year, you will explore different career paths in a fall internship and a spring 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 of internship sites are right on campus or 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!
What are the residence halls like?
Threshold has two residence halls, both located near the Threshold offices and Lesley’s Doble campus. They are recently renovated, have ID card access, are fully accessible, and each has a kitchen, a lounge, shared private bathrooms, and laundry machines. Your ID card will also give you access to four 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 to call for emergencies. Most first year students have a roommate that we match you with, based on what you tell us about 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 50 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 their time with other students enrolled at Threshold. You may choose to take an undergraduate class in your 2nd year, or you may prefer to stay within Threshold’s course offerings.
What do students do in their free time?
Between classes and your internship, you’ll be pretty busy at Threshold, but you will also have unstructured time to yourself for meals, to get homework and laundry done, get involved, and have fun! There are dining facilities on each of Lesley’s three campuses to sit down and catch up with friends.
A lot of our students join clubs, 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.
Do students go home or stay on campus most weekends?
We encourage students to stay on campus as much as possible for the first six weeks, because it is such an important bonding time with your classmates. Some students go home on the weekends during the year 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 may have as a young adult in a college setting, including the unique topics experienced by students in Threshold. Each student will also 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 will 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.
Over 75 percent of graduates live on their own and 95 percent 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 even starting families of their own. But don't just take our word for it. Check out these alumni stories.
How many applications do we receive each year?
We receive between 75-90 applications each year for 24 spots. Our admissions committee is invested in making sure the students we select have an optimal chance for a safe, successful and positive experience while attending our program. The documentation that we require as part of our admissions requirements helps us determine if we are the appropriate program for a candidate. Qualified applicants are invited in for an interview after all the admissions materials have been received.
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 H.S. diploma, certificate of completion, or are currently on a transition plan. Because we are a college experience program, our accepted students are 18 to 26 years old.
What is the Threshold Curriculum?
At Threshold, students engage in learning that helps them:
- advocate for themselves
- obtain meaningful employment
- pursue opportunities for continued 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 2nd year.
What are typical courses that students take?
Threshold classes focus on 3 areas: Employment training, Independent living, and Social Development. The first year is exploratory- students begin to learn fundamental work skills in their courses three days a week, while working two days at an internship. In their second year, students choose an employment path for a year-long internship three days a week and spend two 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 office of Student Activities and Support, 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) in order to fulfill the student’s Transition Plan.