Social College (Social Discussions on Relevant Topics and Situations You Experience Every Day)

PTI’s Social College is a series of discussions and activities focusing on participant-identified social topics. An emphasis is placed on WHY social norms are important and HOW to apply those skills in a variety of settings. Each session will include interactive discussion and opportunities to apply content within a group, receiving immediate feedback.

Social College incorporates evidence-based curriculum developed by experts in the field and adapted by PTI staff and consultants to specifically address the needs of the participants.

A variety of topics will be offered throughout the year and may include technology, dating/sexuality issues, nurturing friendships, advocacy, anger management, team building, self-awareness, event planning, work/life balance, verbal and nonverbal communication, empathy, decision making, etc.

  • Participants are encouraged to attend at least one series per year
  • Outcomes are identified and tracked for each course

Group discussion, modeling, video and other visual and auditory supports, rating scales, social stories, worksheets and literature review are among methods used during courses to teach and reinforce skills.

**Participants registering for Social College courses should plan to attend all four classes for which they are enrolled.

Social College participants may consider further instruction in each of these topics of focus by enrolling in PTI’s Social Focus program.  Generalization of these skills may also be practiced in PTI’s Social Growth program.

Previous Social College Courses include:

  • From Friendships to Dating: A Communication Crash Course
  • Successful Communication at Work
  • Social Media Tips and Tricks
  • Community Advocacy
  • Nurturing Friendships
  • Social Problem Solving
  • Etiquette 101
  • Conversation 101
  • Managing and Communicating Feelings and Emotions
  • Discovering Me
  • Learning the Unwritten Rules in our Social World
  • Sharing Stories Socially
  • Reading Between the Lines
  • Navigating Personal Emotions
  • Chit Chat Conversation
  • Healthy Disagreements
  • Electronic Communication
  • Controversial Conversations
  • Keeping Conversations Going

Information from: Social Problem Solving (worksheets from course below)

Instructor: Gina Cato, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist with Center for Hearing and Speech
Course Description: Each day, we are faced with making decisions during social situations at home, work, and the community.  In this class, participants will learn step-by-step communication strategies to solve problems in their daily social lives.  Steps will include:  describe problems, describe why situations are problems, identify the size of problems, find out others’ opinions, consider more than one solution to a problem and choose an adequate solution.

Tuning Up and Calming Down–  by Debora Davidson, Ph.D, Bright Futures
Exploring My Choices– copyright 2011 Linda Harrison,
Size of the Problem?– copyright 2011 Think Social Publishing, Inc.

(To enroll, a person must meet the eligibility criteria for Pathways to Independence involvement.)

Program Fees

One social college course is free for those enrolled in the 36 or 48 events per year billing plan.

** Scholarships are available to participants and families that meet the qualifications for financial assistance.  For more information on how to apply for these scholarships, please contact Jodi Woessner at or 314-863-0202, ext. 2.

For more information or to register, please contact the PTI office at or 314-863-0202, ext. 4.


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Participants in our previous Social College Course, Civic Engagement, listed some of the issues they face in the community.


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Participants held conversations about problems they see in society and discussed how to change them.   They also wrote a letter government officials regarding lack of transportation options for people with disabilities in St. Charles.


Mike G., Volunteer
Participant, Mike (left), practices small talk and conversation with one of our Social College volunteers at the “From Friendships to Dating: A Communication Crash Course.”