Clemson University also has a hotel on property: the James F Martin Inn. Here's a link: http://www.clemson.edu/madren/
In fact there's a conference center, restaurant and yep, you guessed it -- a Starbucks!!
Clemson has a parent club which is a really unique feature and truly makes us parents feel like we're included and involved! Check it out here: http://www.clemson.edu/madren/inn/parents.html
We had dinner and a great night's sleep.
Chloe lost no time in pointing out and meeting all the tigers on Clemson's property!
We made sure to visit the football stadium too!
We had a meeting with the folks at ClemsonLIFE and Chloe had the opportunity to ask many, many questions (and so did we).
Clemson has a two to four year program available. The two year (also called Basic) program is two years of life skills, vocational training and students do have the option to take a leisure arts course with their typical peers. Here's a link to the ClemsonLIFE program: http://www.clemson.edu/education/culife/
Students live on campus and move throughout campus in a cluster according to a pre-determined schedule. It was very clear to me how included and special the ClemsonLIFE students are on campus because everywhere we went students greeted Chloe, spoke with her and asked questions about her interests and plans for the future.
Hands down, Clemson is truly all heart. I've seen videos and read stories but nothing compared to being there and seeing it in person.
The culture at Clemson is extremely unique and accepting of the learning differences the students have. That's probably most evident in the amount of students that volunteer in different aspects of the ClemsonLIFE program. There are tutors, workout partners, lunch buddies and job coaches -- just to name a few. The appreciation and interest levels are astounding.
But, the program has limits and structure that are outside of what Chloe is looking for. Access to science is unfortunately a deal breaker for her.
As her mom and advocate I actually am pleased with her decision for several reasons.
- One: she's taking this decision seriously! She is weighing out the pros and cons in her mind and drawing her OWN conclusion from the information she's given.
- Two: she's empowered to make her decision. Chloe knows that her opinion matters and that choosing her college carefully has a huge impact on her future. I've always wanted Chloe to make choices in her life and though it started with "what's your favorite fruit?" She has moved beyond basic preferences into the bigger life choices. Yes, I realize that Chloe is different, but I've never for a moment doubted her ability to choose what she likes and what she doesn't. I have empowered her - intentionally - from the very beginning.
- And three: she CAN. She's sensing what's best for her and what situation best fits her needs. Chloe has a tendency to want to make everyone happy so weeding out a program is actually a very tough call.
We went into the college tour knowing that Clemson was Chloe's favorite and though it's not a match for her - it certainly can be for other students. There is a wide array of support, opportunity and heart in Clemson, South Carolina, but we are moving it out of Chloe's top picks.