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P.A.C.E. at National Louis University
college for learning disabled students
P.A.C.E. at NLU, Young Adult Transition Program in Chicago
122 South Michigan Avenue
Suite 3013
Chicago, IL 60603


Path to Academics, Community and Employment (P.A.C.E) at National Louis University
P.A.C.E. at NLU is a three-year post-secondary program which is designed to meet the transitional needs for young adults with multiple intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities. P.A.C.E. is one of the leading residential-based programs in the country that integrates employment preparation, independent living skills coaching, functional academic courses and social development into a curriculum that prepares students for independent living through experiential learning.

P.A.C.E. at NLU Curriculum
The researched based curricular anchor that P.A.C.E. at NLU has aligned our three main objectives, is the comprehensive Life Centered Education (LCE) curriculum which was developed by the Council for Exceptional Children.

The P.A.C.E. curriculum has three objectives

  • Education and professional training necessary to be workforce ready
  • Development of independent living skills
  • Development of age-appropriate social skills

P.A.C.E. objectives are achieved through student engagement in four core areas of learning which are:

  • Functional Academic Courses
  • Employment Preparation
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Socialization and Community Living

Functional Academics
P.A.C.E. students attend classes two days a week in an undergraduate university environment. Teaching and learning in a formal classroom are designed to present content and promote critical thinking skills in a structured environment. With guidance from P.A.C.E. instructors, students apply the concepts learned in the classroom to their personal situations, relationships, and routines outside of the classroom. P.A.C.E. classes serve as a space where students can discuss, role-play, and reflect upon their life-experiences, and practice their skills in new concepts. Problem-solving instruction across all areas of the program, facilitates P.A.C.E. students in becoming successful and independent problem-solvers in all aspects of their lives.

Employment Preparation
P.A.C.E. students complete three internships to accumulate over 700 hours of actual work experience. They prepare for employment in fields such as adult care, early childhood, food service, general office, supply and distribution, housekeeping, animal care, retail, health care and hospitality. Employment skill development includes classroom instruction, workshops/trainings, as well as on-the-job coaching from supervisors and job coaches. All aspects of instruction are designed to help P.A.C.E. students find employment interests and skills to succeed in the world of work.

We keep a careful record of daily progress and are always ready to adjust services to meet the needs of each student. This may include additional tutoring sessions, specific tutoring techniques, and individualized organizational skills. Each student meets with a case manager on a weekly basis. They review the student's progress in each of the areas, and student needs and wants are addressed.

Independent Living Skills
Through one on one and small group instruction students work towards the development and maintenance of core executive functioning skill sets. These skills include, money management, time management, organization and personal care, each one drives the focus of Independent Living Skills Instruction. For this instruction, P.A.C.E utilizes the 21st century housing as a classroom, which allows our students to directly apply these skills where they live. Through direct application and reinforcement by the P.A.C.E student life team, our students begin to integrate these skill sets into their personal repertoire.

Socialization and Community Living
Successful adults are socially responsible. At P.A.C.E. we hold our students to high standards to be successful at work, in the community and in their relationships. Students apply these skills in real-life situations in all P.A.C.E. learning environments, interacting with peers in the dorm, with coworkers, and the P.A.C.E. team on a daily basis. Planned activities that encourage social interaction and community engagement are an important part of P.A.C.E. at NLU. Students receive direct and guided instruction in improving their social skills and P.A.C.E. provides a unique real world arena for our student to put theory into practice every day. In addition, students learn to navigate means of public transportation to travel throughout their community

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