Improving care. Changing lives.

Next Step: College Success

Next Step: College Success & Independent Living

"My son emerges from these sessions feeling more confident and competent -- and I, as a parent, emerge feeling like I can slow down, appreciate my child, and take some of the pressure off of both of us. I leave the Next Step sessions with a fresh perspective, realizing that my son's differences can also be considered his strengths." - Next Step Parent

Read more testimonials about Next Step

Program Dates 2019-2020:

  • Saturday, February 1, 2020




  • Summer program at Boston College - Sunday, July 19- Friday, July 24, 2020

2019-2020 Program pricing:

Saturday sessions: $400 per session
Summer program at Boston College: $3,000
Discounts & incentives:

  • Register before February 1, 2020 for both Saturday sessions & the weeklong Summer program and pay only $3,500 total (also includes an additional social night, date to be announced)
  • Register before April 1, 2020 for the Summer program and pay a discounted rate of $2,800

Deposit requirement:

  • $750 deposit required to reserve spot in the summer program (due upon acceptance). In the event of participant cancellation, the deposit is refundable ONLY if the spot in the program is filled by another participant.

Please click here to download the Program Brochure. 

 Judge Baker Children’s Center is excited to present an interactive and immersive high school to college transitional support program. This college readiness simulation focuses on fostering skills of independent living in a campus environment for students with social communication deficits.

The NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program, consists of two Saturday day-long sessions throughout the academic year, as well as a week-long overnight dormitory experience based on the Boston College campus.

NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living is designed for students, ages 16 - 20, who present with a social language deficit and are serious about attending college after high school. This program is appropriate for young adults with High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) / Asperger’s Syndrome, Non-verbal Learning Disorder (NLD), or related learning differences.

The focus of the NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program is to afford students a chance to hone executive functioning, problem-solving, and self-advocacy skills that are necessary for living with other students on a college campus. Each Saturday session will include a skill focus, individual and group problem-solving activities, as well as a college campus excursion. Additionally, parents will have an opportunity to attend a morning educational seminar for a preview of the day’s activities and discussion on coping with the stresses and concerns of a child transitioning to college. All Saturday programs will begin and end at the Judge Baker Children’s Center facility at 53 Parker Hill Avenue in Boston.

The summer portion of the NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living will take place at Boston College in July. The weeklong summer program allows students to experience living in a college dormitory with peers, navigating both new social and environmental challenges, including exposures to dining facilities, administrative procedures, and campus amenities.

To enroll in our program:

Next Step Enrollment Form

Please do not submit payment with enrollment form; admission is contingent on intake and interview.

If you are interested in enrolling your young adult in our program, our intake coordinator will set up a brief phone intake with you and one of our program leaders so that we may learn more about your young adult, and also answer any additional questions you might have about the program. The phone intake generally lasts approximately 20 minutes. 

At the end of the call, we will schedule an informal in-person interview for you and your young adult to visit us at Judge Baker Children’s Center.

Contact Us

Contact us to learn more: click on the icon above to submit a request for information, call us (617) 278-4119, or email


Financial Aid Application


Next Step wishes to thank the generous supporters who have made this program possible. Some of our current supporters include:



ImprovBoston has supported Next Step through the generous donation of their time and incredible talent, leading improvisation workshops for our college-bound students. ImprovBoston staff create a safe and playful atmosphere, which brings students out of their shell to realize their own inherent improvisational talent. Amidst all the laughter, students are better able to connect with their inner creative processes as well as with their peers in the Next Step Summer Program.