Cultivating student success in an independent living environment
Milton Hershey School high school seniors live independently in 52 apartment-style residences spread across 10 buildings on the MHS campus. They receive regular guidance from MHS Transitional Living (TL) staff and live with four to six students of the same gender who have similar hobbies, interests and lifestyles.
This unique residential program shapes the way seniors approach life after graduation and builds their sense of responsibility, independence and community as they make practical decisions including budgeting, meal planning and time management. These are activities that occur within the continued safety and care of the residential school.
Developing essential life skills
With weekly curriculum and an experiential learning environment, MHS students develop essential life skills they will carry with them after graduation. They learn how to manage money through a weekly grocery budget and an online banking tool. Through social and emotional learning lessons, students also learn how to maintain healthy relationships, solve problems, manage stress, resolve conflicts, and commit to health and wellness.
By offering individualized support while still giving students the freedom to make their own decisions, the TL program is developing responsible adults who have the skills they need to achieve their goals.
Building a strong sense of community
Similar to living learning communities at colleges and universities, each TL apartment falls into one of five themes that match Milton Hershey School’s 2020 Vision Strategic Plan:
- STEAM and Sustainability
- College and Military Preparation
- Global Citizenship
- Leadership and Community Service
- Health and Wellness
Students are placed in a TL community that matches their passions, and seniors plan activities centered around these themes. Whether it’s healthy snack nights, a weekly activity program, debate nights, or community service activities, these communities help seniors feel engaged and connected to the world around them. When students feel connected to a community, they can accomplish anything.
Want to learn more about the Transitional Living program at MHS? Read our blog!