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STAR (Skills Training and Retention)

The S.T.A.R. program (Skills Training and Retention) is a two week therapeutic intensive program tailored to Collier High School and Middle School students who are highly motivated to be at Collier, but have difficulty reaching or maintaining the standard of behavior and attendance expected at the school. Students who struggle to use coping skills to manage their mental health may also benefit from the S.T.A.R program, especially in situations where their mental health is impacting their ability to access their academics. 

S.T.A.R. is designed to take the place of a traditional school day at Collier High School. The S.T.A.R. program takes students out of the classroom and into a separate facility on Collier’s 260-acre campus. Students are identified by their social worker, teachers, or administration, and are recommended to the program and acceptance into the program is strictly voluntary for the student. 

While in S.T.A.R., students and counselors will address the student’s underlying needs such as (but not limited to) school phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance use, suicidal thoughts, students gain the skills necessary to become and remain healthy and productive members of the Collier community. This is done by engaging students in a group-based setting that provides them with an assortment of skills including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)* skills, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)* skills, and assertive communication skills.  

Students start their day with two morning groups that focus on providing them with skills training. Students will also engage in an educational program designed to keep them up to date in their current core class curriculums. The educational period also acts as a way to re-engage students into the educational process with significant support from both education and counseling staff. The third and final group therapy session addresses students’ communication and assists them in transferring their newly learned skills into the school setting. This group will incorporate psychotherapy, assertiveness training, and Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP).

To date, S.T.A.R has worked with over 100 students and has a 75% success rate which is well above industry standards.

Click here to view the s.t.a.r. program flyer

*Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced based intervention that will be used to assist students in the following four ways: improving core mindfulness, improving distress tolerance, improving emotional regulation, and improving interpersonal effectiveness. Students will be taught an assortment of DBT skills with the aim of each student mastering one from each category before graduating from the S.T.A.R. program and returning to their regular class room.  The benefits of DBT are endless, however we anticipate that students who have difficulty managing emotions such as anxiety, depression, and anger will be able to spend more time, energy and focus on their academics as they reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of these intense symptoms.


*Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is another evidenced based intervention that will assist students in a multitude of ways.  By assisting students in identifying and understanding their own cognitions and behaviors, the aim of this group will be to assist students in addressing barriers to success in the academic setting.  In gaining an understanding of the relationship between negative cognitions and or ambiguity towards school attendance and participation and their emotions and subsequent behaviors students can then be empowered to make significant changes.  Students will benefit from changing both thoughts and behaviors associated with poor school performance and will be freed to gain a positive emotional connection to their education. 

S.T.A.R. program (Skills Training and Retention) is a two week therapeutic intensive program tailored to Collier High School and Middle School students