FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of New Frontiers in Learning?
New Frontiers in Learning strives to provide the highest quality supports to adolescents and young adults who learn in unique ways. We personalize our supports to not only meet the needs of our students, but to also capitalize on their strengths and individual talents.
What services does New Frontiers offer?
New Frontiers offers high school and college academic tutoring, as well as social and executive functioning support services. Tutoring and coaching services are provided during individually scheduled, one-on-one sessions throughout the entire year. New Frontiers’ coaches provide support for both high school and college level coursework, as well as support in the development of executive functioning skills. New Frontiers also offers two summer programs, each consisting of three three-week sessions, of which, students can come to one, two, or three sessions. During our full-day Summer in the City program, students spend the mornings participating in social and cultural experiences throughout the city (Museum of Natural History, Intrepid, etc.). Through these outings, students learn how to navigate the city, plan and initiate activities, live on a budget, and more. In the afternoons, the students participate in a book club, as well as varied executive functioning and leadership lessons. Some examples of lessons that the staff teach during the afternoon sessions include how to manage one’s time, techniques to identify and manage stress in young adulthood, and how to organize and prioritize responsibilities. Through our half-day College Readiness Experience, students get the opportunity to spend time working on the skills necessary to be college ready, such as academic foundations (written expression, reading comprehension, and conducting research), studying and managing your time in college, navigating the college campus, negotiating testing and classroom accommodations, and more.
How are services provided under the New Frontiers model?
During the academic school year, students receive one-on-one, individualized coaching sessions, anywhere from 1 to 5 hours a week. The students follow a set schedule developed between the student and their coach. Students have the option of utilizing our office in lower Manhattan for their sessions; however, supports are also provided on campus when the students cannot commute to our office. When the students are unable to meet with us in person we can conduct session remotely. We use the backdrop of their everyday responsibilities in high school and college to develop these skills.
What types of students fit the New Frontiers model?
Students who benefit from our services may struggle with various learning and academic differences and/or executive function deficits. Executive functioning can be defined as one’s cognitive processes that assist in the ability to manage and control other cognitive processes, and include skills such as time management and organization. Many times, our students have the academic ability to attend college but still need the extra supports New Frontiers provides in order to work through the rigor of the college curriculum, keep their courses organized, and plan out and manage their time to fit in all of their academic and social responsibilities.
What types of skills does New Frontiers work on?
New Frontiers has identified 5 critical areas in which students need to be proficient for college readiness: foundational academics, executive functioning, social communication, independence, and self-advocacy. It is important for students to have key foundational knowledge and skills to be able to comprehend text, write fluently, and perform basic math functions. Executive functioning skills, such as time management and organization, help students to set and maintain a college routine. Social communication skills are integral in students getting involved on campus, as well as developing relationships with fellow classmates and professors. Independence and self-advocacy are necessary for monitoring one’s progress, coping with obstacles, and seeking appropriate supports when necessary. New Frontiers assists students in developing skills in all of these areas based on their individual learning profile.
What types of communication do you have with parents, professionals and other members of each family’s team/community?
New Frontiers has developed a true culture of collaboration amongst staff, students, families, and professionals. We believe it’s important, and that the saying, “It takes a village…” certainly rings true when it comes to young adults transitioning from high school to college. Since our students are adults, we treat them as such; however, there are times (with student permission) that we communicate with his/her parents and other professionals to take all proactive steps to lead to their success. For example, our students have a set schedule of when they see their coach each week. When students do not attend their sessions, it can be for many reasons, such as avoiding coursework, abnormal sleeping patterns, medication changes, lack of time management, or memory issues. We reach out to parents when students miss their session, not to micromanage them, but to figure out as a team what the underlying cause is for the lack of attendance so that we can build in supports to move the student forward successfully.
What does a typical coaching session look like?
Each session is unique to the student; however, there are systems that New Frontiers utilizes for each student to help set them up for success and to develop the critical skills necessary to become an effective college student. Our systems include, but are not limited to: reviewing the content of each class with a student; teaching the student how to break down large complex assignments into small and more manageable tasks; the creation of a next steps- checklist; and, the development of a system to organize time, tasks, and their other responsibilities. Our consistent checks and balances not only ensure academic success, but assist the students in developing their executive functioning skills in an authentic learning experience. Teaching students how to develop their own system of checks and balances helps them to become more independent in self-monitoring, which is extremely important in college, as it is the expectation. Without checks and balances, students may fall behind on their assignments, forget to hand assignments in, not give themselves enough time to complete a paper or study for an exam, etc. We teach students how to develop these systems, but also support them in following through with them during the development process.
What is the culture/environment like at New Frontiers?
The culture is one of true collaboration, professionalism, and fosters a welcoming atmosphere. Our staff are compassionate and dynamic professionals who support the students’ needs for success throughout their entire time with New Frontiers.
What credentials are held by staff at New Frontiers in Learning?
Each administrator holds a minimum of a Master’s degree in Special Education, as well as previous experience working with an adolescent and postsecondary population. Our coaches have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree from a variety of highly accredited universities. The credentials of the New Frontiers staff include several publications, conference speaking engagements and workshops, special education teaching licensure, college teaching, and advanced certificates in autism spectrum disorders. Our team is committed to providing high quality support services to enable and empower young adults to meet the academic and social rigors of school and to prepare for life-long success.
New Frontiers in Learning