Dean College is excited to announce the rollout of its new Engage Program, a comprehensive social support and skill-building initiative for incoming students. After an extremely successful pilot program, the enrollment for Fall 2024 is now open.  

Nationally, three out of four high school graduates say they don’t feel prepared for college. Recognizing this need, Dean created the Engage Program to meet the social and emotional challenges faced by so many young adults learning to adapt to college. Any incoming Dean student is invited to enroll in this unique program, and no application or documentation is required.

“In recent years, we have noticed an increase in the need for specialized support services for our students, especially those who are just entering college or are new to Dean,” said Lynne DaSilva, Dean College’s Director of the Arch Learning Community and the Engage Program. “The Engage Program has been designed to support students with social, communication, and adjustment challenges in order to make their transition to Dean as successful as possible.”

The evidence-based Engage Program will help students learn effective communication skills, including reading and reacting to social cues and building healthy relationships through peer socialization. The program will also focus on learning self-care and balance, and effective academic planning and organization.

As part of the Engage Program, students will receive the following benefits:

  • Early campus move-in opportunity
  • A “Prep for Success” orientation program
  • Access to specialized Living and Learning Community housing and residential staff
  • Low sensory group meeting space
  • Peer mentoring
  • Weekly social skills groups and regularly planned social events
  • One-on-one academic coaching tailored to individual learning styles
  • Study labs with monitoring
  • Health and wellness initiatives in collaboration with campus partners

In addition, the Engage Program team has specialized expertise, drawing on the more than 25 years of leading-edge support available to Dean College students. Faculty and staff have backgrounds and certifications in autism spectrum disorder, neurodiversity, and social skills training and can effectively help students achieve their full potential. In fact, the Fall 2023 Engage pilot program boasted a 100 percent retention rate from the Fall to Spring semesters; an average GPA of 3.2; and more than 50 percent of participants made the Dean’s list, underscoring the program’s positive impact on academic achievement.

“The most helpful part of Engage was having a group I could go to while getting acclimated to college,” said a current participant in the pilot program. “Having the support of the Engage Program leaders has been so valuable to me during my first year at Dean.”

Incoming first-year Dean students for the Fall 2024 semester are invited to visit our website for more information and to enroll in the program. The cost for the 2024-2025 academic year is $6,500.