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Transition Academy

Broadening life skills. Building confidence. Experiencing success.

Moving toward independent living takes practice.

The First Place Transition Academy, operated by the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), is a structured two-year program in the supportive environment of First Place–Phoenix that helps build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Participants can maximize their capacity to live more independently through our Learn4Independence® curriculum and individualized services designed for adults with autism.

Year 1

Participants live in their own private bedroom in one of four four-bedroom suites on the first floor of First Place–Phoenix. They participate in career services ranging from volunteer work and internships to community employment. Community life, building amenities/features, the midtown location, access to public transportation and 16 Learn4Independence courses enable individuals to build their life and work skills before moving on to more independent living in year 2.

Year 2

Participants relocate to a two-bedroom suite with their own private bedroom and bathroom upstairs at First Place–Phoenix as a next step toward greater independence. Participants complete 16 additional Learn4Independence courses, continue transition planning and receive a certificate in life skills at the GateWay Community College graduation ceremony.

Learn4Independence® Curriculum

First Place and SARRC have partnered to develop a state-of-the-art, educational transition program for 32 participants each year as they develop more independent-living skills within a supportive, connected community. Participants take part in Learn4Independence, a two-year curriculum of 32 semester-length courses (17 weeks each) taught on-site at GateWay Community College in Phoenix. They can also apply what they learn every day through community-based experiences and in their apartments, or “independent living classrooms.” Courses include:

Rent & Tuition Includes

Private Bedroom
(Shared Apartment)

Appliances & Utilities

Learn4Independence Courses

Clinical Services

Employment Services

Join Us for a First Place Transition Academy Tour

First Place conducts tours for individuals interested in the First Place Transition Academy. Family members are also welcome. Come and learn about programs for adults with autism, acceptance criteria and more. You’ll also get the chance to experience first-hand some of “a day in the life” of our participants.