Admissions

Our Admissions Process

Here we provide what a prospective student’s family may need to know about the admissions process and choosing a program for a struggling teenager and what they may want to know about the young people and parents who have already joined Montana Academy’s community.

The Referral Process

The admissions process typically begins with a referral, often from an independent educational consultant. These individuals are often indispensable for an experienced consultant consistently visits programs, knows clinicians and schools, recognizes a program’s strengths and weaknesses, and is able to narrow the search and teach parents what to look for. 

Once a potential fit is established, the admissions team gathers relevant materials and arranges communications with other treating professionals in order to learn more about a student and to further determine the appropriate fit. The admissions team will also arrange an introductory/screening call with a prospective family to address questions and to share information to ensure that parents gain a clear sense of how Montana Academy will approach a student’s clinical, academic and interpersonal difficulties.

The Exploratory Visit

Following the initial screening and once appropriate fit and available space is determined, parents are encouraged to spend half a day on the campus and to visit Sky House to further provide a basis for making an important decision in their teenager’s and their family’s life. A mutual interview and developmental conceptualization is at the heart of every visit as this is an opportunity to discuss struggles that parents hope Montana Academy can address and help to resolve. 

This visit routinely involves key staff introductions and a tour of the campus and school. Parents join the community for lunch and are able to speak candidly to current students about what it has meant to them to be at Montana Academy. 

By the end of this half-day on campus, most parents feel that they know whether the fit is right, and feel that they know the program, staff and other students and whether their own son or daughter will thrive. 

Montana Academy Student Profile

Prior to enrollment, all Montana Academy students experienced some kind of progressive, global breakdown. Repetitive and worsening symptoms have touched most or all venues in their modern adolescent lives: at school, in extracurricular activities, at home, in the society of peers, and all by themselves. Attempts to resolve these problems while they continued to live at home—with good advice, competent outpatient psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medications—already had failed. The risk / reward ratio became too great to continue on an outpatient basis. 

Most students have completed a challenging wilderness program. All Montana Academy students are healthy and strong enough to participate in the Academy’s vigorous outdoor activities.

Read More About Student & Parent Profiles

Enrollment Day

Parents typically accompany their daughter or son to enroll at Montana Academy. On that day a new student,  parents, and the staff  have key tasks to accomplish.

For a new student, enrollment begins with a series of friendly introductions: to staff, therapist, team-leader and peer mentor. On enrollment day, a new student will receive a Student Handbook and an orientation, and the peer mentor will introduce a new student to teachers, to the treatment team and to other teammates. The team leader will check in belongings, assign a dorm room, and is there to help with any other items related to settling in comfortably. 

The team therapist will set up a first individual therapy session and dedicate the first group therapy to a warm welcome. At school a new student shadows the peer mentor until the Academic Advisor assigns classes. In the first week the Medical Team meets with a new student to review medical problems and medications if any.

For parents, enrollment involves a few equally important tasks: an introductory therapy session with the individual therapist for a relaxed conversation intended to get to know one another  as well as an academic meeting with the Academic Advisor to have input into course selection and academic trajectory. The desired outcome of the day is to initiate an alliance and to begin a sincere collaboration. 

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