Mansfield Hall’s Four Core Approach addresses the essential domains of an authentic college experience (Living, Learning, Giving, and Engaging), as well as the requisite skills needed for a successful transition to adulthood within the context of a supportive residential community.

Each domain is interdependent on the other, and students must develop skills in each core area to reach their true potential.

A positive college experience must effectively balance the development of academic skills, independent living skills, social skills, and vocational skills, and must include executive functioning and self advocacy skills across all domains.

We address these four core areas – Living, Learning, Giving, and Engaging – in all of our goal-setting and programming.

Our team works closely with each student to identify, set, and achieve individualized goals in each of the four core areas. In addition to the the residential experience within a supportive community, this coaching relationship is central to the Mansfield Hall experience.

Our Academic Directors, Academic Coaches, and Writing Instructors help students improve their academic, self-advocacy, and executive functioning skills as they learn how to navigate collegiate-level coursework. Our Directors of Student Life and Student Life Coaches support students as they develop their independent living skills and build a healthy social experience. Additionally, our Community Outreach Director works to connect students to volunteer opportunities and community events, as students build a resume of experiences, practice the skills of employability, and actively give back to the larger community.

Most importantly, our four core approach is grounded within an authentic collegiate community. For our students, it is essential to support skill acquisition and generalization within an immersive and real-world context. We value inclusion and diversity and are constantly working to integrate our students in the larger community. Moreover, Mansfield Hall’s Fellows Program provides the opportunity for traditional college students to live and participate in all of our programming and events, which promote social modeling and natural peer supports.

Pathway To Independence Model

Mansfield Hall’s Pathway to Independence Model is a Community and Coaching Model that focuses on the whole student through the four core areas of Learning, Living, Giving and Engaging.

Our Community Model is rooted in the belief that at the heart of independence is interdependence and connections. The ability to meet our needs and thrive in the world as adults grows out of our ability to be in relationship, ask for help, be comfortable navigating different environments, and having people around us we trust and care about and who care about us. As we establish this in the Mansfield Hall community we can then support students to extend their sense of safety and belonging into their respective college communities.

Our Coaching Model is rooted in community, driven by empathy and empowerment, and provides the framework from which students are able to take risks and meet new challenges. The process of increasing self-awareness, recognizing areas of growth, goal-setting, and overcoming obstacles, develops both increased agency and self determination as well as greater skillfulness in many areas of adult development – from managing one’s living space to effective self advocacy on campus and in the workplace.

The Mansfield Hall Pathway to Independence Model is designed to empower students to take ownership of their own lives through building their capacity for resiliency, self-determination, self-advocacy, advanced academic studies and independent life skills. It is a student-centered model grounded in community engagement and relationships based on active listening, emotional connection, partnership, and guided discovery. Our model is designed to help students identify, articulate, and pragmatically work toward their own goals – while still providing staff support in areas which students are not-yet able to address.

Student Led Pathway to Independence Plan

The heart of our model is the Student Led Pathway to Independence Plan (known around Mansfield Hall as the SLP), which is created by students with support from staff and overseen by the Director of Student Life and Academic Director.

This document outlines a student’s goals in our four core areas. The goals are individualized, and will vary considerably depending on the student’s personal needs and readiness. This tool is used to strengthen our student’s capacity to take ownership of moving from pre-contemplation and contemplation to preparation, action, integration, and generalization of new skills and increased self-determination.

The coaching process that this tool represents is guided by a student’s innate capacity and desire to grow, their participation in our community and curriculum, and our staff’s commitment to support students through positive, intentional action within the context of supportive relationships.

Assessment Tools

In addition to students receiving real-world feedback in their college classes, we utilize three primary assessment tools at Mansfield Hall. The purpose of these assessments is threefold:

First, the assessments provide us with valuable information on the individual strengths and lagging skills of each student. This information provides us with a present level of functioning and a foundation for individualized goal setting with a focus on independence.

Second, these assessments are administered bi-annually, providing us with valuable progress monitoring data. We use this data to help determine if our students are meeting their individual goals.

Third, the assessments help us to determine what supports and services may be needed to most effectively meet each of our students’ needs.

We use three primary assessment tools at Mansfield Hall:

  • The BRIEF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning), a standardized tool for assessing executive functioning capacity.
  • Pathways to Independence Inventory, a tool created specifically for Mansfield Hall to help assess independent and college life skills.
  • The OQ-45, a tool which captures secondary and tertiary gains made in social engagement and overall wellbeing.

In a nutshell: We utilize data to tell us where each student is right now, goal-setting to map out where they are going in the future, a community and coaching model to help them get there, and additional assessments and data to monitor their progress along the way.

To learn more about Mansfield Hall’s Four Core Approach, Pathway to Independence and our Community and Coaching Model, please contact the Admissions Office.