College Living Experience (CLE) is the industry’s leading provider of post-secondary supports for young adults with learning difficulties. Dedicated to providing the highest quality of services, CLE strives to propel young adults toward success as they journey through their transition to independence.
CLE has centers on college campuses in Texas, Washington DC, California, Colorado, and Florida. As part of the CLE program, students live independently in housing near their college campus. Students pursue their academic program or career of interest while receiving services for independent living and skill development.
Call for Remote Support
The process for teaching young adults with learning difficulties to develop basic living skills was labor intensive, hard to scale, and didn’t allow staff to focus on students who need the most help. To ease the high-touch, in-person demand for assistance, CLE turned to the LifeSherpa remote support platform.
“We provide individualized wrap around supports in the domains of academics, career development, independent living, and social skills,” says Sarah Robison, CLE Program Director in Rockville, MD. “During the early days of the [COVID-19] pandemic when our services temporarily became virtual, not only could we monitor student progress and success, but we could also communicate directly through LifeSherpa’s built-in video call and chat options without sharing personal phone numbers.”
Initial Test: The Morning Routine
CLE put LifeSherpa to the test on an often-challenging issue: getting students awake and ready for transportation to attend their morning classes. Before LifeSherpa, a resident assistant (RA) had a 90-minute window to knock on doors and walk through a checklist with each student.
LifeSherpa was installed on each student’s phone and configured with a routine that automatically started at a pre-determined “wake-up” time. Through prompts on their phone, the routine guided students through the necessary steps, including hygiene and taking medications, to get ready for the day.
The process was managed by the RA who viewed student progress in real time on their phone. LifeSherpa aggregates the status and progress of all students on a dashboard. So RAs can track each student via state bar view, review status updates from students (e.g., “Sick” or “Not at Home”), reach out via text or video call, and add notes.
Grade A Solution for Students and Staff
Today, students with challenges remembering key steps automatically receive reminders and reinforcements via LifeSherpa to help them get ready in the morning and compete all tasks. RAs have visibility into student status without being physically present and can quickly identify those that need help (and they have more time to provide it!).
CLE also relies on LifeSherpa to deliver routines with step-by-step instructions for cleaning, meeting with tutors and instructors, and completing a daily plan. LifeSherpa customized activities and prompts have replaced paper checklists, nagging, and friction – and given way to a new support structure and proactive partnership between students and staff.
Using LifeSherpa, CLE now has:
- Scalable, remote support delivery tool helping students and staff increase productivity and achieve more
- Centralized content library for configuring and customizing best practices, resources, routines, and communications
- Real-time status and visibility into who’s doing what and who needs help — no matter where students, or staff, are located
- Secure, private communications via LifeSherpa’s mobile app texting and video calling that exposes no personal information
- Objective analytics with data automatically collected by LifeSherpa for quantifying progress, providing faster feedback, and improving programs
Customization Increases Buy-In
LifeSherpa gives CLE the ability to easily customize content and communications at both the organizational and individual level. “That’s important, not only because everyone is different,” notes Sarah Robison. “Customization shows students that they are being heard and are unique. And it’s on their phones all the time. That increases buy-in. Students feel they have control and power.”
For CLE staff, LifeSherpa provides an efficient, effective way to get students what they need to be successful. Modifying template-based routines, reminders, and self-help resources to match how different students do things is easy.
LifeSherpa Improves Support and Effectiveness
The remote support enabled by LifeSherpa has allowed CLE to streamline the support process, provide an additional layer of support, save time and effort with automation, increase staff retention, and create winning partnerships with students.
“LifeSherpa is essential and a part of culture now. It allows us to be much more effective. It removes negative confrontations because the data is coming from LifeSherpa, not us. Right away we see when someone is struggling and increase our scaffolding that supports students in developing independence,” says Sarah Robison.