Transition Academy

Broadening life skills. Building confidence. Experiencing success.

The First Place Transition Academy, a two-year, residential life skills program with clinical services provided by Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), is designed for adults age 18 and older with autism to help them build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Located at First Place–Phoenix, the Transition Academy offers the Learn4Independence® curriculum and individualized supportive services to guide participants in maximize their ability to live more independently.

2023 Pricing 

Coming Fall 2022

$7,909 per month*

2023-24 annual tuition of $86,700 includes annual fees; tax not included.
*Third-party funding is now available for the reduced monthly cost of $3,710 for those who qualify.

Start living independently!

Cost Includes

Private Bedroom

Private Bedroom


Utilities & Appliances

Learn4Independence Courses

College Tuition

Clinical Services

Clinical Services


Employment Services

Program Content



Getting a job & navigating the workplace



Money basics & personal finance



At home & in the community



Friendships & family relationships



Safety, meal planning & prep



Personal & community identity



Roommates & community apartment living



Physical & mental health



Conflict, coping & personal management


Courtesy & manners


Travel planning, budgeting & etiquette

Living on
My Own

Creating a life of independence


Setting goals & organizing daily life

Clinical services provided by

Courses taught by SARRC at


During the Transition Academy’s two-year program, participants live in their own private bedroom in a four-bedroom suite on the first floor of First Place–Phoenix. The program includes our Learn4Independence® life skills curriculum with 32-semester length courses.

2023 tuition for the Transition Academy is $86,700 ($7,909/month), which includes the apartment lease, a suite of 24/7 supports and amenities, all utilities (electricity, water, cable, Wi-Fi, phone) and instruction at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, where the First Place Learn4Independence® life skills curriculum is taught. In year one, participants live at First Place–Phoenix in one of the four four-bedroom Transition Academy suites during their first year. In year two, participants relocate to a two-bedroom suite with their own private bedroom and bathroom upstairs at First Place–Phoenix as a next step toward more independent living.

The Transition Academy represents one of two residential options offered by First Place. The second option is the First Place Apartments.

A third-party payor option through AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid provider, can help offset the cost of what began as a private-pay, philanthropically funded program. SARRC is a contracted vendor with UnitedHealth Community Plan, one of Arizona’s AHCCCS providers. By fall 2021, SARRC will no longer be contracted through the Arizona Dept. of Economic Security’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.

We seek counsel from the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, staffed with BCBAs who provide clinical services for the First Place Transition Academy.

Residents may live at the First Place Apartments without being enrolled in the Transition Academy. Following the two-year Transition Academy program, graduates may also choose to remain at First Place–Phoenix and lease an apartment.