FAQs: I-to-I

Frequently Asked Questions for the Introduction to Independence (I-to-I) Program

Download the Orientation Presentation Slides Here:

What is the cost of the program?
The fee for the 7-week program is $9500.00 which includes tuition, room and board, and transportation to various activities.

What are the dates of the program?
The summer 2011 program runs from June 30th - August 17th.

Can I pick up my son/daughter to take them home for the weekend or the night?
We don't recommend that students go home on weekends as this impacts socialization time with their peers and there are activities planned each weekend. If there is an event that the student needs to attend then certainly this can be arranged. Parents are required to fill out a release from each time a student is taken off campus.

Where do the students do laundry?
Students are shown how to use the coin operated machines in the dormitory and can receive extra assistance with their laundry if required. It is a good idea to have your son/daughter try doing laundry at home so they are familiar with the procedure.

If they need help organizing their room and keeping it clean, who helps them?
Students who need assistance with this are provided with an Independent Living Coach who will assist them in their rooms. They will be shown how to use their cleaning supplies and provided with guidance to organize their rooms.

If my student cannot self-monitor their medication, is there a nurse to administer their medication?
We have a nurse practitioner on staff who will assist your son/daughter with medication as needed.

Why are I to I students not allowed to have computers and TVs in their rooms?
The students are not allowed TV's or computers in their rooms because it has been our experience that they tend to spend too much time isolating themselves and not socializing with their peers.

Since I to I students are not allowed to have computers and TVs in their rooms, do they have access to them?
We have two computer labs for the students to use and they are open almost every day. There are large screen TV's for students to watch and we also have DVD players and Wii systems for use.

If my son/daughter wants a roommate, how do they go about this?
Roommates can be arranged by filling out the form you receive once you have been accepted, and indicating the desire for a roommate. We will make every effort to find a roommate for your son/daughter.

Do you enforce healthy eating habits during the summer program?
While we encourage healthy eating and will point out good choices in the cafeteria, we don't monitor what the students eat.

Will my son/daughter be academically challenged this summer?
The classes at I to I are relaxed in nature in that we do not assign homework or administer tests. Students are challenged in the various activities required in their classes. The focus in the summer is on vocational and social skills acquisition.

What should I do if my son/daughter calls me at home often with complaints, homesickness, etc.?
Please redirect them to the staff here at I to I. While we realize this is very difficult to do, we are trying to foster independence and they need to learn to rely on themselves and the supports we have in place for them. Every student has a social counselor assigned to them who will assist them with strategies to help them cope with homesickness or whatever issues they may have. We do not encourage them to call home at all hours, but rather to turn to us for support. Please encourage your student to work through situations independently or by going to appropriate staff members directly. Unless there is actual danger, your should avoid becoming involved as this sends the message that you don't believe your student is capable of handling the situation.

How are the banking classes structured?
Every student who attends I to I will open a checking account once they arrive at a local bank. In class they will be taught how to enter transactions, write checks and deposits and how to budget their monies for the week. Students are taken to the bank weekly to handle their transactions.

Who is monitoring my son/daughter’s money?
Students are given a weekly budget sheet in class to decide how much money they will need for the week. Most students will hold on to their own money and spend according to the budget they prepared in class. For those that need extra assistance with this, we can hold their money for them and allot it as needed for each activity.

Do the rooms have private or community bathrooms?
There are community bathrooms on each floor of the dorm. Students should bring shower caddies with them that they can keep their personal toiletries in.

What types of professionals work for I to I?
I to I is staffed by Special Education teachers, MSW's and school counselors. Most, if not all of the staff, have been employed by VIP and I to I for many years.

Is financial aid available?
Financial aid is not available. If your son/daughter is afforded extended year services from their home school district, you may be able to obtain funding from that district.

What kinds of activities are offered to the students, and how often?
There are a variety of activities available including on-campus and off-campus events. On campus there is a swimming pool and bowling alley for the students to use and they are taken to ball games, beaches, amusement parks, museums, canoe trips, shopping and more on weeknights and weekends. Several activities are offered to the students on a daily basis.

What kinds of independent living skills are addressed during I to I?
Students are expected to arrive with a basic set of daily living skills. Aside from being held responsible for keeping their rooms clean and doing their laundry, students are taught to advocate for themselves as situations arise and given some unstructured time so that they may learn how to plan activities with friends on their own. While students are reminded about personal hygiene and keeping their rooms clean, we do not assist students with activities such as hair washing, teeth brushing, nail cutting, etc. We will assist with organizing their rooms and teach them how to do laundry in our machines.

How much direct supervision does the I to I program provide?
The I to I program is staffed by Resident Advisers (RA's) that have been trained by us and live in the dorm with the students. The RA's are on duty every evening from 5-11pm and on weekends from 10am to 11pm. The RA's run all the activities in the evenings and weekends. Students are shown where they RA's rooms are, so that should they need something after hours, they can knock on the RA's door for assistance.

What is the age range of students for I to I?
The ages range from 16 to 22 years.

My son/daughter requires a special diet. Can this be provided?
Special diets can be arranged. A letter from a doctor may be required if it is a very specific diet.

Do students get paid for their work internships?
The students do get paid a stipend for their internships and are required to budget their money from this stipend. Please do not send them extra money during the summer as we are trying to teach them to budget with the money they earn.

What are the expectations of the students in the I to I program?
Students are expected to wake themselves up in the morning, get ready for either work or class and get to their destination on time. They are required to attend certain activities and are expected to be on time for these as well. Students who miss a day of work and have not been excused for medical reasons will be docked pay for the day.

My son/daughter is having difficulty adjusting to the summer program. What is done?
If your child is having difficulty adjusting we will work with them to provide strategies to help them cope. If necessary we will contact the parents and work together to ease the transition. Social counselors offer additional support as needed.

If my son/daughter becomes sick and cannot attend work or classes, what should they do?
If your son/daughter is sick they are required to see our nurse practitioner. If she deems them to be too sick to attend work or classes she will contact us and they will be excused for the day. If necessary they will be taken to the doctor on campus.

If my son/daughter is not interested in a particular planned activity, are there alternate activities planned?
Certain activities are not required (such as the canoe trip for those afraid of water, for example) and an alternate activity is provided. Students are expected to attend all other activities. Since all of the students go on the trips, if your son/daughter absolutely does not want to attend, then they will have to be taken home for the day as they may not stay in the dorm unattended.

If my son/daughter has an emergency after 11 p.m., whom do they contact?
They should knock on an RA's door for assistance after 11 p.m.

What is the refund policy for the I to I program?
The refund policy for the summer session is as follows:

  1. Dropping at any time from the date of the student’s registration to the day before the first scheduled day of the course – 100% refund of the tuition and the college fee.
  2. Dropping at any time during the first week of the course – 50% refund of tuition only.
  3. Dropping at any time after the start of the third week of the course – no refund.

All fees are non-refundable. If you have any questions regarding the above information, contact the Office of the Bursar at 516.686.7510.

What are the goals of the I to I program?
The goal of the I to I program is to maximize movement toward independence by creating a reasonable "loosening of the reins" in an environment that rewards responsibility, involvement and decision making.

What are the rules of the I to I program?

  • Students are not allowed to leave campus without a staff member as most of our students are under the age of 18 and are new to the program.
  • Students are required to be in their dorm by 10pm and in their rooms by 11pm.
  • The dorm is co-ed but co-ed visitation in rooms is not allowed.
  • Students must attend classes and work, and certain activities are mandatory.
  • TV's and computers are not permitted in student rooms.

Are students given contact information in case of emergency?
Students are given the phone numbers to the main office and the security office on campus. They are instructed to program these numbers into their cell phones.