The Optimum Performance Institute Provides Clear Path Toward Educational Success Through Expanded Department of Education

To meet growing demand with increased admissions and the needs of young adults for a successful life after attending a mental health treatment program, the Optimum Performance Institute has expanded its department of education to support a more individualized approach to educational development with program participants.

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Department of Educational Services at OPI Living
'Furthering education can be an important part of moving forward for many young adults, which is why our team works closely with each student in our programs to get them on an appropriate path that's best suited for them.' ~Dr. Robert F. Fischer

Woodland Hills, CA (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

The Optimum Performance Institute, named BEST in Treatment by Psychology Today, has expanded its educational resources for attending participants to help a greater number of young adults achieve academic success during program treatment. With this larger team, the Department of Educational Services can now provide even more expert, personal assistance.

For many young adults, a mental health crisis can occur while attending school, and as a result, they often have to leave school while they undergo treatment. However, at the Optimum Performance Institute, participants are paired with therapists, life coaches, and experienced department directors like new hires Marisela Guillén, MS, Director of Student Affairs, and Jessie Steinberg, MS, the Administrative Director of Education. Participants are helped to set, review, and accomplish goals within a framework that keeps them involved and motivated and prepares them to avoid setbacks and deal effectively with challenges waiting for them upon therapy completion.

Based in Woodland Hills, CA, and situated within the Los Angeles County basin, OPI has ideal regional access and established relationships with numerous top-rated, southern California accredited institutions and learning programs. These include private and state universities, community colleges, specialized schools dedicated to the arts, occupational, culinary, and tech programs, as well as high schools and GED and remediation centers.

Recently, an OPI participant was accepted into an acclaimed music program at the Musicians Institute, a nationally accredited college of contemporary music located in Hollywood, California. The participant had been attending a major university in another state when she had to take a medical leave. When she first came to OPI, she planned to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. However, after meeting with a college counselor, she learned that half the credits from her previous schooling would not transfer. The participant found this discouraging because she was already a junior. She had to choose between returning to her previous college in another state or staying in California near OPI’s support services and completing a degree, even if it took longer. After rediscovering a deep passion for music and with encouragement from OPI’s Education Department, the participant researched possible music degree programs. She learned about the Musicians Institute, took a tour, and decided this was where she wanted to be. The Department of Educational Services helped her complete the application process in record time. She is now pursuing an associate of arts degree in music, and after two years, she can petition to transfer these credits and complete a bachelor’s degree.

“The beauty of our education department,” says Marisela Guillén, Director of Student Affairs, “is that it offers a guided and supportive approach to educational development through a number of specific strategies we know work to keep these young adults academically engaged during an absence. We prepare them to begin the next phase of their journey with both hands-on guidance and instructional steps to ensure they re-enter their academic environments with the tools they need for long-term success.”

According to Dr. Robert F. Fischer, Executive Director of the Optimum Performance Institute, some young adults arrive at OPI lacking an educational direction or motivation, while others have had to take a leave of absence, but regardless he says, he’s added Steinberg and Guillén on his team to work individually with participants to place them on an appropriate student track. Counselors prepare customized plans to help participants overcome specific challenges they may have faced at their previous schools.

As Dr. Fischer notes, “Student success can help the overall therapeutic success, and furthering education can be an important part of moving forward for many young adults, which is why our team works closely with each student to get them on an appropriate path that’s best suited for them.”

Specific support strategies that the Department of Educational Services provides include a six-week workshop, tutoring and accommodations for those with learning disabilities, and an accountable and friendly approach to monitoring individual progress. In addition, the department facilitates monthly outings such as topic lectures, college campus tours, museum visits, and gallery viewings as opportunities for participants to be exposed to a variety of new subjects and educational material.

Academic Tracks offered at OPI, in coordination with accredited educational facilities, include:

  •     Subject competency and learning disability remediation
  •     High School completion
  •     GED and SAT preparation and completion
  •     Transfer/General Education
  •     College return
  •     Vocational Certification

Individualized Educational Planning available for each participant at OPI includes:

  •     Evaluation of transcripts
  •     Appropriate school, class, and instructor selection
  •     Addressing previous academic challenges to create prevention strategies
  •     Assisting participants with learning disabilities to register for accommodations
  •     Reviewing syllabi and creating effective study schedules

As Director of Student Affairs, Marisela Guillén has a very positive outlook about her role. “I believe that with guidance and support everyone can be successful, and I want to show participants that there are options to help them pursue their educational goals besides just the traditional route. Many times, it is fear that stops us from pursuing our goals, but if we have someone who believes in us and helps us through our hurdles, we can accomplish so much more. I’ve seen many participants who did not believe in themselves when they first arrived, but after guiding them with their individual needs, they’ve regained the confidence they had lost.”

Visit http://www.OPILiving.com for details on the Optimum Performance Institute, the Roanne Program for BPD, OPI’s Intensive Outpatient Program, and a full list of available departments dedicated toward helping participants achieve personal success while receiving therapeutic services. OPI Living Program clinicians and staff adhere to a shared core belief, which is, “We Treat the WHOLE PERSON not just the diagnosis.” Visit the OPI Living Diagnoses section to read more about which diagnoses are supported and treated by OPI Living Programs.