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High School Summer Program

There is more to being part of a college community than living on campus. This three-week program instills the values of mutual respect, dedication to academic achievement, and opportunity for personal change and growth. When it is time for them to matriculate on to a college campus, students in this program will be better prepared to interact with faculty members and fellow students.

Program Dates:
Saturday, July 6 – Saturday, July 27, 2024*
*Classes will be held on Friday and residence halls will close at noon on Saturday the 27th.


Costs:                      Traditional Track: $5,990
                                 Social Pragmatics Track: $7,390
                                        Plus $150 refundable damage deposit
                                        (Cost includes double occupancy residence hall room, meals, and activities.)


Our High School Summer Program is for students who are challenged by the demands of academics for a variety of reasons and motivated to address these challenges. We have designed this program to introduce students to skills and strategies that will help them prepare for college-level work. They will learn new techniques and understand the importance of reflecting on their learning habits. Students will also experience college life as members of a living and learning community. Some students who attend this program may need additional support to participate socially, adapt to a new environment, and engage in community activities. Our social pragmatic track is designed to provide a level of support through a specialized learning course that embeds an introduction to PEERS® instruction (PEERS® is an evidence-based social skills program) as well as social coaching as needed.

During the program students are encouraged to develop a greater appreciation of learning through experiential and practical activities. Students learn to apply writing process strategies, understand their academic strengths and personal learning style, integrate stronger academic strategies and practices, and begin to focus on the development of better habits for success.

The program curriculum is separated into three segments of course work: a core course providing a foundation for other coursework and activities; a writing class that covers the basics of proficient writing; and a general elective providing an opportunity for students to apply what they are learning. Each weekday students participate in three courses, activities each afternoon, academic prep four nights a week, and group programs and activities on the weekend.

We know not everyone learns in the same way. Our experience with young people who learn differently suggests a sense of self and good insight into one’s individual learning style can make a significant difference in outcomes at school.

Our experienced summer faculty and staff will help students begin to:

  • Understand themselves as learners
  • Develop a writing process that uses proven techniques to generate clear writing with fewer struggles
  • Integrate strategies and practices into content courses
  • Focus on the development of better daily habits

NOTE: Students must be between 16 and 18 years of age, have completed their sophomore year of high school, and be returning to high school in the fall. Participants are not required to have a diagnosed learning disability to participate.

Financial Aid is available and awarded upon acceptance. Financial aid applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage parents to submit an application for financial aid early.

“Landmark College’s High School Summer Program has made a positive and palpable difference in my daughter’s self-esteem. The daughter we picked up from the program had become noticeably more mature in a mere three weeks’ time. It was one of her best learning experiences ever, and has helped both academically and emotionally to prepare her for college.”

“Our son had an amazing experience at Landmark! It was a great boost to his self-esteem and his learning skills.”

“We were very pleasantly surprised at the shift in attitude, self-confidence, and pride.”

“The social interaction available to our son was terrific for him. It gave him a glimpse of what college could be like.”

“The program was a perfect fit for my daughter. We would have liked a longer program to develop her writing skills, as well as her reading comprehension skills. After high school, we may send her back to Landmark College’s Transition to College program before beginning college.”

“The social skills and the pre-college experience were invaluable!”

“I can’t say enough good things about the program! My son is so much more confident now. He loved it so much, he’s applied to attend Landmark College next fall.”

“The greatest benefit from the program was in meeting other kids who are like him—he is maintaining these friendships and feels a lot less ‘different.’”

“We noticed significant growth and maturity in our daughter!”

“I think the program was terrific. It’s just too soon in the school year to see whether our son will show any benefit at this point. Given his particular issues, I’m not surprised. I didn’t expect a dramatic result from a 3-week program. That said, we’re sold on Landmark College—and he is, too. We’re hopeful he’ll be able to attend as a full-time student next fall.”

“My daughter had an absolutely positive experience. She made new friends that she is still in contact with. It helped her to see that many people have learning disabilities like her. Our high school has a very strong support services department, so I don’t think there was a whole lot more for her to learn about her disability—although she was able to complete a very well-written college essay at Landmark College.”

“Mutual respect between students was visible and warm. Teachers are really kind and considerate, they care and get to know each student.”

“I liked making friends and being in a college environment.”

“I got to try fun and exciting activities with my friends and did stuff that helped me become more independent and self-advocative.”

“I enjoyed getting a chance to practice independent living and prepare for college life.”

“I didn’t think that I would make friends so easily!”

“Landmark College is a very nurturing place.”

Like other colleges and universities, Landmark College admits a diverse class of students every year. Landmark College, however, does not simply admit learners on the autism spectrum; we have set, as a strategic priority, development and refinement of services that are integrated, progressive, and student-centered.

As described in the Academic Program section, the College Living and Academic Strategies: Social Pragmatics core course includes two days per week of PEERS® instruction. PEERS® is an evidence-based social skills instruction where students will learn through instructive lessons and role play demonstrations.

Students will also receive 1:1 social coaching to support them apply the skills from their weekly lessons. Parents are encouraged to participate in a weekly, online, evening session to review the lessons and learn tips on how to support their student.


  • Core Courses:

    Learning Strategies Seminar—Required for all students in the Traditional Track: This course is designed to introduce students to the science of learning. The course will cover such important areas as executive functioning, metacognition, self-management, memory, and motivation. Through interactive and hands-on activities, students will learn skills and strategies that are required in all learning environments. The skills of active reading, note-taking, test taking, and summary writing will be introduced and practiced. Students will consider their own learning styles and challenges as they create a model for effective learning to be applied to their next school experience.

    College Living and Academic Strategies—Required for all students in the Social Pragmatics Track: This course is designed to teach and reinforce the direct application of the Habits of Learning including Self-Determination (self-awareness and self-advocacy), Executive Function and Social Development Skills which are supportive of learning at the college level and beyond. Students will develop their own learning profile and will apply strategies to maximize their strengths and work on areas of growth. Students will learn and apply strategies for strengthening academic, social, cognitive, and analytic engagement. Students will learn how to navigate the social dynamics of a learning community and explore meaningful forms of communication through our dynamic and supportive PEERS program. Information will be presented through readings, discussions, PowerPoint presentations, activities, and individual projects. Throughout the program, students will be building their portfolio for college living and learning.

    This course includes two days per week of PEERS® instruction. PEERS® is evidence-based social skills instruction where students will learn through didactic lessons and role play demonstrations. Students will also receive 1:1 social coaching to support them in how to apply the skills from their weekly lessons. Parents are encouraged to participate in a weekly evening session to review the lessons and learn tips on how to support their student.

    Writing Classes: Students will select one course from the options listed below:

    Research and Writing: For students who are comfortable with the basics of writing essays, this course introduces students to the process and practices expected in college-level writing. Students will learn how to structure and develop research papers with in-text citations and lists of sources. Research & Writing will focus on active reading, information literacy, and research to write research essays.

    Confident and Creative Writers: For many students, producing writing on a deadline is a challenge. By including creative approaches to writing, students can develop strategies and approaches to increase their success. This course is designed for individuals who find it difficult to generate effective writing in an academic setting despite their efforts to do so. High interest topics and creative assignments will engage students and encourage them to find meaningful connections to their writing. Students should expect to produce writing in most class sessions.

    Writing the Effective College Entrance Essay: Writing that is clear, authentic, concise, and persuasive is a general requirement for academic success at the college level, and it is what colleges look for in application essays. Using prompts typically found on college applications, students will formulate, draft, and edit an essay that can be used as a model for their own college application essay.

    Academic Prep:

    Academic Prep is offered four evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Academic Prep is also a time for students to gain expertise in the use of Assistive Technology.

  • Electives:

    Providing students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in more conventional academic offerings. Course content is intentionally varied. These courses are true electives, and students are encouraged to enroll in a course that may not ordinarily be available in a typical high school curriculum.

    General Elective courses may include:

    High School Math: Algebra II Preparation
    High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation
    Sports & Culture
    Visual Storytelling
    Digital Photography
    Vermont Field Ecology
    The Poet’s Mind

    Drawing: This course is an introductory course in drawing, but it will also provide continued instruction for seasoned mark makers. Emphasis is on strategies, methods, and techniques for translating three-dimensional form and space onto a two-dimensional surface using the language of line, value, and the illusion of depth and texture. Mark making and its expressive and descriptive qualities will be examined.

    High School Math: Algebra II Preparation: Algebra II Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take Algebra II this fall. Specific content includes the study of algebraic functions, their graphs, and trigonometric basics. Building on a strong foundation of mathematical knowledge, this class is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, helping them to prepare for Algebra II.

    High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take pre-calculus this fall. Students will review and be introduced to the concepts necessary for a smooth transition into pre-calculus.

    Sports and Culture: Are you interested in sports in America? In this course, we will look at the role sports play in our society. Using materials from a variety of sources, students will examine the relationships sports have to individuals and social organizations. The course will cover current issues in sports, such as the nature of competition, performance enhancement, violence, gender issues, and multi-million-dollar contracts.

    Digital Photography: Learn and Shoot: The best camera in the world is the camera in your pocket. Whether you use a phone, DSLR, or point and shoot, come and learn the basics about camera functions, lighting, and composition. After quick mini-lessons, practice using your camera outside or in easy-to-create studio set-ups. During this elective, we’ll explore camera terminology, composition, storytelling, and post processing. We’ll examine student’s work in online critique sessions and “how to” post-processing demonstrations. This class will encourage everyone to “get out” and start taking amazing images.

    Theatre: Students will learn how to harness their artistic voices and turn their ideas into performances. The students will work as an acting company functioning in various roles: actor, writer, and stagehand. Students in this elective will experience theatre through improvisation, movement, vocals and collaboration. As a group we will define areas of interest to create short scenes and characters. We will add and refine material as needed for a showing of work to be determined by the students at the end of the course.

    Vermont Field Ecology: Learn about local wildlife, plants, and ecosystems, along with other basic concepts of ecology. Take field trips to local areas, such as streams, rivers, wetlands, mountains, and meadows to study ecosystems and to practice scientific observation. Students will keep a field notebook, do a simple a field project, and will be expected to hike over varying terrain. Weather permitting, students will observe a biologist in the field netting and banding wild birds.

    Visual Storytelling: This course is for students who want to explore the techniques and possibilities of visual media as a tool for communication and storytelling. Using a smartphone, DSLR, or other image capture device, students will learn to make still photographs and video within a multimedia context to create fictional and nonfictional short stories. Applications from the Adobe Creative Suite will be used to edit, organize, and output stories in engaging and interactive ways online. Students will also be introduced to various forms of Visual Communication being used in contemporary society. What stories do you want to tell?

    The Poets Mind: This course is focused on reading and writing poetry with all the senses—sight, scent, touch, sound, taste, and the unnamable sensory experiences of the poetic realm. Through readings, activities, and prompts that engage both past and present experiences, students will develop their own craft through multiple timely perspectives.

    Academic Prep:

    Academic Prep is offered three evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Students are able to work alone, in groups, or in a supervised setting.

  • The Residence Halls:

    Not only will students be immersed in rich academic work, they will also live among their fellow students within residence halls on campus. Residence hall rooms are double-occupancy, so students will have a roommate. The halls are wing-based, and students will be separated based on gender. Residence halls are appropriately staffed by professional Resident Directors (RDs) and a host of college-aged mentors, known as Resident Assistants (RAs). This team helps students to bridge the gap between their classroom experiences and the rest of their day and evening. These RDs and RAs, many of whom also have identified learning differences, help students engage in the community and ensure a secure living and learning experience. Students experience a safe, supportive, college-like setting during their three-week stay in the residence halls at Landmark College.

    The Dining Hall:

    Students will enjoy meals together in our dining hall, which offers a wide variety of choices, including an array of hot and cold entrees, soup, pizza, a sandwich and salad bar, and extensive vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

    Weekend Activities:

    We work to make sure students have plenty of fun during their experience on campus!

    Saturdays and Sundays provide an opportunity for students to participate in supervised, group programs. These are more than fun experiences—they also teach students how to handle themselves in larger groups and provide opportunities for greater independence. Students will enjoy activities including an on-campus carnival day featuring fun games and activities like a giant slip-n-slide, and possibly even a visit from the Kona Ice Truck, as well as an ever-popular Student Talent Show.

    Afternoon Activities:

    Afternoon activities provide a balance to the day and run every weekday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. Students will sign up daily for each activity. Some of the activity options offered in the past include: basketball, running, art, soap-making, ukulele lessons, theater, music, soccer, rock wall, Dungeons & Dragons, and yoga.

  • Daily Weekday Schedule for the High School Summer Program (both tracks)

    7:30 – 8:45 a.m. Day Starts (Wake up, Breakfast, Health Services, ... )
    9 – 10:20 a.m. Class Period 1
    10:30 – 11:50 a.m. Class Period 2
    11:50 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Hall/Free time
    1:30 – 2:50 p.m. Class Period 3
    3:30 – 5 p.m. Extracurricular/Small Group Activities (structured time)
    5 – 7 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall/Free time
    7 – 7:30 p.m. Wing Meetings
    7:30 – 10 p.m.

    M, T, TH & Fri: Social Activities, Free Time, Laundry, Check In’s, etc.

    Academic Prep: 7:30 – 9 p.m.

    7:30 – 8:15 p.m. Wednesday Workshops: Topics to be announced
    10 p.m. All students in their Residence Hall
    11 p.m. All students in their room, lights off, door closed
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