FAQs About the Hatlen Center

What type of skills do students need to attend The Hatlen Center?
There is no required skill set in order to attend The Hatlen Center. We teach one-on-one, so we are able to adapt our curriculum to each student’s needs.

Do you only admit transition-aged students into the program?
While it is true that our area of expertise is with transition youth, ages 18-25, there is no upper age limit. We are able to accommodate all ages, and we typically have a few students who are older than 25.

Do you work with individuals who have multiple disabilities?
Yes! We have worked with students who also have additional impairments including cerebral palsy, hearing loss, traumatic brain injuries, autism spectrum disorder, mild intellectual impairments and a wide array of learning disabilities.

What is unique about The Hatlen Center?
The most unique thing about The Hatlen Center is the fact that each student resides in an apartment while attending the program. Students typically prefer the independence afforded to them in this environment, but Hatlen staff are available on-site to assist when needed.

How are the classes delivered?
Almost all classes at The Hatlen Center are taught one-on-one in the student’s apartment or in the local community. Small-group classes including job readiness, first aid, and urban travel are taught weekly in addition to recreation outings.

Can students attend school while attending The Hatlen Center?
Yes! Not only can students attend school part-time while attending the program, Hatlen staff are available to help students navigate the process in deciding what school to attend, learning about the admission process and how to work with the disabled student services department.

Can students work while attending The Hatlen Center?
Yes! We encourage students who are ready to participate in some form of work experience while attending The Hatlen Center. All of our students learn job readiness with an emphasis on the acquisition of soft skills to increase employability. Students are also offered a variety of volunteer opportunities through local businesses in the community.

Who determines The Hatlen Center curriculum?
Hatlen staff work together with the student and their DOR counselor to individually craft their own curriculum, taking into consideration skill level, capabilities and interests. This empowers the student to make choices that will lead them to their ultimate goals.

How long is The Hatlen Center program?
Each student’s length in the program is individually tailored by the student and staff to meet the goals of the student based on their skill level when they arrive at Hatlen. Generally, programs are from six months to a year, but can be shorter or longer depending on the individual.

Does the required monthly income for living expenses have to come from SSI or SSDI?
No, the monthly income does not have to come from SSI or SSDI. Some of our students receive a living expense stipend from their DOR Counselors, others receive one from their family.

Where is The Hatlen Center located?
The Hatlen Center is located in San Pablo, California, a small town North of Berkeley in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Students from across the country apply to and attend the program.

Can students leave for short breaks on the weekends?
Students may choose to go home on the weekends occasionally, but are encouraged to stay to maximize their experience through recreation opportunities on the weekends. Students who wish to leave for a longer break are required to get permission from their DOR counselor.

Can students have visitors?
Yes, students may have visitors outside of class time. Visitors are required to follow all the rules of The Hatlen Center and the apartment complex in which it is located. Guests are limited to no more than three nights. Roommates must approve of the visitors. Hatlen staff reserves the right to ask visitors to leave when deemed necessary.

Youth and their families sometimes state that they do not want to take time off from school to attend a residential program. What is recommended?
Contrary to popular belief, attending a residential program is not taking time off. It has been shown across numerous studies that the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), the non-academic skills taught by The Hatlen Center, are important to be successful. Students at The Hatlen Center learn to manage a budget, travel in unfamiliar areas, determine the accessible technology right for them, become self-determined and be their own self-advocate— all skills that will help them be more successful in college. Students who have been accepted to college prior to applying to The Hatlen Center may be able to defer their entrance date for up to one year.