The Achieve Program
The Achieve Program provides specialized services to students with learning differences. At Villa, we look at students’ needs individually, and develop a plan to help ease their transition into college. Through the Achieve Program, students can build their confidence as they develop the skills that are critical for achieving academic and social successes at the collegiate level and beyond.
Achieve Program Goals
- Provide support to students with learning differences that goes above and beyond what is required by law
- Assist students with learning differences in developing executive functioning, self-advocacy, and goal-setting skills
- Support students with learning differences make a successful transition from high school to college, and from college to their career
- Increase students’ self-confidence in their academic, personal, and professional lives
- Increase retention and graduation rates of students with learning differences
- Build on students’ strengths to overcome challenges
Career Readiness Program
The Career Readiness Program was designed to help Achieve students improve their career readiness skills in preparation for transition from college to career. The program utilizes one-on-one coaching and specialized workshops to explore majors, career paths, skills/strengths assessments, and part-time jobs to help build their resumes and gain experience.
Achieve students come to the Career Readiness Program as they are; whether they are unsure of their major, want to know more about potential career paths, or already have a plan and just need help putting it in motion. Beginning sophomore year, Achieve students are able to work with Career Readiness Program staff to help assess and identify areas in need of support, allowing them to follow their own path and meet their career goals.
Achieve students will be able to work with the Career Readiness Program staff to prepare for internship and job interviews. They will cover everything from how to dress, responding to emails, meaningful questions to ask, appropriate follow-up and more. The program allows Achieve students to participate in mock interviews, aiding in increased confidence and experience leading up to real-life interviews. Additionally, students will work on self-advocacy skills, financial literacy, participate in volunteer work, and attend job fairs.
Achieve students will work alongside Villa’s expert staff to write resumes that highlight their strengths, underscore their accomplishments and land them job interviews. The Career Readiness Program assists students in writing strategically designed, written, and formatted resumes that aim to attract the attention of hiring managers at quality companies in the Western New York area and beyond.
Internships play a pivotal role in ensuring students are prepared to enter the workforce. Students with learning differences can struggle to feel ready to take on the responsibility of an internship. By working with the Career Readiness Specialist, Achieve students can complete a supervised, on-campus internship to help put their skills into practice and build confidence in their abilities. The Career Readiness Program collaborates with the Villa Career Services Center to assist Achieve students in pursuing and preparing for traditional, off-campus internships.
Once students have completed resumes, the job search begins. The Career Readiness Program will assist Achieve students as they search for jobs on various search engines, complete effective LinkedIn profiles, perform community outreach, and more. Furthermore, the Career Readiness Program links students with companies that specifically invest in individuals with learning differences. Students will hit the ground running after graduation by leaving with a clear job plan on where and how they can utilize their skills obtained at Villa Maria College.
Want to Learn More About The Achieve Program?
Most Importantly, Villa’s Achieve Students Feel Like Their Success is Possible
“My learning differences made it challenging for me to understand everything I was being taught. Achieve gave me the opportunity to continue to get the help I had been used to receiving in high school at the college level. Because of my drive to do well, and with the help of the tutors in the Achieve Program, I’m on my way to attaining my goals while maintaining a 3.2 GPA or higher grade until graduation. Through the school’s and Achieve’s help, I know I will soon have a successful Graphic Arts/Creative Writing career.
— Rebecca Kendall, Graphic Design, ’20
Achieving Success, One Student at a Time
- Fall 2015-2016: 71% retention rate
- Fall 2016-2017: 91% retention rate
- Fall 2017-2018: 90% retention rate
- Fall 2018-2019: 88% retention rate
- Fall 2019-2020: 74% retention rate
Grade Point Averages
- Fall 2017: 88% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 2.0+
- Spring 2017: 38% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 3.0+
- Fall 2018: 95% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 2.0 +
- Spring 2018: 55% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 3.0 +
- Fall 2019: 73% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 2.0 +
- Spring 2019: 49% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 3.0 +
- Fall 2020: 88% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 2.0 +
- Spring 2020: 48% of achieve students maintained a GPA of 3.0 +
Questions about the program? Contact us today.