Pathways Program Description

Pathways provides:

  • A director, assistant director, and trained staff of mentors
  • One-to-one mentoring sessions
  • Seminars, workshops, and study groups tailored to meet students' needs
  • Academic counseling, course advisement, and priority registration
  • A specialized summer program prior to the first semester at STAC
  • Computer and assistive technology access
  • A library of resources on learning disabilities



At the heart of the Pathways program are mentoring sessions. Twice weekly, each student meets with a mentor who serves as a guide, helping the student to learn more effectively. Our mentors are not peer mentors, but are trained professionals with post-college education and experience in some aspect of teaching.

These mentoring sessions are tailored to meet specific student needs. The mentor works with students in areas such as time management, self-advocacy, organizational strategies, editing for a paper, and discussing course concepts to enhance the understanding of lectures and textbook materials.

A very important distinction is made between these sessions with the mentor and traditional types of tutoring. It is expected that students come to mentor sessions after having attended classes, read assignments, and prepared first drafts of themes in order to increase their understanding of the material. Only after this type of initial work can students truly benefit from the transfer of learning that the mentors work to foster.

Pathways students are required to attend their regularly scheduled mentoring sessions; however, they may always "drop in" for additional help as needed. There is no maximum.

Study Groups and Workshops

Program mentors and consultants occasionally conduct workshops and study groups. These instructional activities are small group sessions that students are encouraged to attend based upon their individual needs and interests. Workshops, which may cover such topics as Note Taking, Textbook Reading, Interview Skills, and Resume Writing, are frequently incorporated within the summer program course. Study groups in specific subject areas, such as algebra, history, foreign language, and psychology, are offered dependent upon student need.

Summer Program

There is a required summer program for incoming Pathways freshmen prior to their first semester. The program is residential and lasts three to four days. The goals are to learn the specific needs of each student, to begin preparing individuals for the academic rigors of higher education, and to build a sense of trust and community within the group. The rewards and challenges of academics are promoted because the program integrates a three-credit course, whose topic may vary from year to year (e.g., the history and development of American culture). This aspect of the program continues into the fall semester. The summer program fosters a sense of community among the students through shared activities while building their self-confidence and comfort within the college setting.


Interested students must submit applications both to the College and Pathways. Acceptance to the program is limited and extremely competitive. Those students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • Acceptance or eligibility to be accepted to St. Thomas Aquinas College.
  • A learning disability or an attention deficit disorder with associated leaning difficulties as the primary classification/diagnosis.
  • An adult intelligence test (WAIS-IV preferred) indicating average or above abilities.

We can only consider your application to Pathways after the College has formally accepted you. If the College accepts you, Pathways staff will evaluate your application materials. If you are eligible for admission to Pathways, a personal interview will be scheduled, typically in late December, January or February.

To request a Pathways application, please call us at 845-398-4230 or email us at [email protected].


The program provides services above and beyond those accommodations required under the law. As a result, students accepted into Pathways are assessed a surcharge for program services. There is also an additional cost for the summer program. Information on specific program costs may be obtained from the Pathways Office at 845-398-4230.

In reference to the additional costs for the program, it is suggested that you contact your accountant and /or IRS regarding possible deductibility. Some employers and insurers may have reimbursement policies for part or all of the program surcharge; please contact your employer to discuss eligibility. Finally, students may be eligible for financial assistance. Information and applications for financial aid are available from the College Financial Aid Office.

Additional Services

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 entitle students with documented disabilities to academic accommodations without charge. These accommodations may include alternative testing procedures, assistance in securing textbooks on tape, use of tape recorders for lectures, etc. It is important to recognize that post-secondary accommodations may vary, by law, from those at the secondary level. Specified accommodations are available without charge to students who have been certified as disabled by the Committee for Academic Accommodations of Disabilities (CAAD).