Compass Program

Serving Ages 16+


Fostering Independence Through Experiential Learning

The Compass Program helps clients uncover potential, find passion and purpose, put skills into practice, and solidify future success.

The Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care® (IWBMC™) facilitates client independence in Personal Living, Vocational Training, Community Building, and Educational Planning. Through the IWBMC™’s Independence Navigator (ILC), individualized goals and a step-by-step process to reach goals are determined.  Jacob’s Ladder is a SAIS-Cognia accredited school for full-time clients pre-k through 12th grade.

The IWBMC™ & Compass Program Components:

Who the Compass Program Serves

The Compass Program serves clients experiencing neurobiological challenges leading to difficulties with communication, cognitive ability, academic success, self-regulation, and functional independence. Individuals who would benefit greatly from the Compass Program include:

Starting at age 16, clients may enroll in any of our six Compass Program focus areas with 1:1 support or small group placement. The IWBMC™ Independence Navigator determines the ideal placement for each client, ensuring a clear and optimal path forward based on the client’s specific goals and aspirations.

Compass Learns is a program intended to support clients in preparing for post-secondary opportunities, including degree-seeking university programs, certificate-based alternative vocational programs, and trade school placement. Compass Learns is devoted to preparing clients for the next steps in their post-secondary journey, from standardized test preparation to executive functioning and study skills.

Compass Works is focused on individualized vocational training, career exposure, and developing the hard and soft skills necessary for meaningful employment. Clients begin with on-campus job exposure and shift to off-campus job training with partnerships that align with the client’s interests and strengths. Based on readiness and goals, clients can continue with employment exposure or support through job coaching or permanent independent job placement.

The Compass Lives program targets personal living goals surrounding household management, personal safety, community enrichment, and self-care. Clients participate in daily programming and activities that allow learning opportunities on and off campus with community partners and area businesses to have real-world exposure to reinforce needed skills. This program targets future goals attributed to increased success within a group home, residential, family home setting, or independent apartment living.
Compass Plays is a program that offers experiential learning, community engagement, and enrichment activities, all within a therapeutic group-based environment. Clients participate in social skill development, communication, and global independence skills alongside their peers through on-campus learning and community-based enrichment trips. This program offers clients opportunities to engage in socially enriching activities through adulthood.

Compass Heals is a program that supports adult clients recovering from brain-based injuries. This program uses an individualized neurodevelopmental approach to help clients regain previously lost skills while addressing increased independence in key focus areas related to the clients’ areas of challenge.

The Compass Transition Support Program is available to adult clients at any point in their journey. Through this program, Jacob’s Ladder offers short—or long-term support to increase success when moving from one phase of independence to the next. This program’s structure varies based on the client’s needs. It can include transitions from an educational placement to a vocational experience, between living facilities, between vocational experiences, or from high school to a post-secondary educational experience.


Employing individuals with unique needs

Meet Jake. His Jacob’s Ladder journey started at age five. He graduated last year from our Hope School, leading to vocational training in our Compass Works program. No matter his challenges, Jake, now 22, has radiated positivity, determination, and a strong work ethic while gaining valuable job training skills and experience. We are proud to share that he was just hired as a staff member on our Facilities team and is the first-ever student to become an employee. Because of our Compass Works program, Jake and other clients have a path to employment and independence.


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