Transition Academy

Broadening life skills. Building confidence. Experiencing success.

Independent living takes practice.

The First Place Transition Academy, with clinical services provided by Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), is a structured program designed for adults with autism that helps build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Within the supportive, connected environment of First Place–Phoenix, participants can maximize their capacity to live more independently through the Learn4Independence® curriculum and individualized services, broadening life skills and building confidence—one first at a time.

“We were nervous that Jacob might be overwhelmed or homesick but have been pleasantly surprised at his smooth transition… We are thankful for the good people at First Place who work with Jacob every day—and that he has this opportunity to develop independence and dignity.”
Sarah & Andrew, Jacob’s Parents, Transition Academy Graduate


A two-year program that shapes the future.

During the Transition Academy’s residential two-year, 32-course Learn4Independence program, participants live in their own private bedroom in a four-bedroom suite on the first floor of First Place–Phoenix. Living in this energizing, person-centered community, students enjoy a wide range of property amenities, the convenience of a midtown location and walking distance to public transportation. All classes are taught by SARRC at GateWay Community College in Phoenix.

The curriculum

( ) = number of courses

Safety (1-4)
Work (1-4)
Health (1-2)
Relationships (1-4)
Solutions (1-2)
Finances (1-4)
Identity (1-2)
Community (1-4)
Nutrition (1-2)
Living on My Own


The syllabus includes 16 of 32 Learn4Independence courses guiding individuals to build greater life and work skills.


Participants complete the remaining 16 courses, continue transition planning and, upon completion of the program, receive a certificate in life skills at the GateWay Community College graduation ceremony.

Program outcomes

Here is a sample of what our most recent graduating class has achieved.

Report good or excellent quality of life.
0 %
Have independently set life goals on jobs, home, healthcare and relationships.
0 %
Navigate public and private transportation on their own.
0 %
Manage their health and safety needs with little or no assistance.
0 %
Care for their home space independently.
0 %
Manage their own expenses.
0 %
Are employed, seeking employment or are at least a part-time student.
0 %