House Managers and Mentors
All CILLS housing is off-campus in the surrounding community of ESU. There is no dormitory living for our students. This is part of our philosophy that students are learning how to live independently in the community. Housing is the responsibility of the families. It is the families that connect with the realtor or landlord, arrange to see the apartments and ultimately sign the lease. CILLS has relationships with many realtors and landlords in the community, whom prefer to have our students rent their houses. Accepted students and families are introduced during our first orientation meeting in the Spring. Realtors and landlords are present at this meeting to speak with the families. Connections are made at this time between families, landlords and realtors.
Rent is not included in the CILLS tuition. It also cannot be paid through the waiver. All decisions with regards to housing are the families’ responsibilities. CILLS staff only guide families and offer support through the process.
All CILLS houses need to have a House Manager. The House Manager is an employee of the families. The hours of the House Manager are 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on the weekdays and 9:00pm to 11:00am on the weekends. House Managers are undergraduate or graduate students, who are interested in living in the house with the students. They are usually Special Education or Rehabilitation Majors at ESU. Prospective student House Managers are also introduced to the families during the Spring orientation meeting.
The House Manager’s rent is paid by the families and they are given a monthly stipend. The House Manager’s monthly stipend can be paid through the companionship or habilitation waiver. Families need to check with their Supports Coordinator for further information.
Families and House Managers are given a manual which outlines the roles and responsibilities of the House Manager. It also has the numbers of the CILLS staff in case of an emergency. Families will also be given a sample contract, which can be signed between the families and House Manager.
The House Managers’ main responsibilities are; parent and mentor communication, cooking/ kitchen safety, self-care routines, sleep schedule, chores, homework, conflict resolution, rules of conduct and behavior, filling out incident reports, first aid, fire safety and handling emergencies.
Mentors are central to the program and reflect the primary mode for inclusion within the ESU community. A mentor is a similar age companion that assists and guides a CILLS student for the purpose of unlocking and achieving his or her potential. The mentor will also provide support for the successful inclusion in traditional college classes and activities. The mentor’s relationship is beyond assistance and should reflect shared experience that result in mutual benefit.
Student mentors are the employees of the CILLS program. They work with our students from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on the weekdays and 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. on the weekends. The mentors report to the Program Director, CILLS staff and House Managers. Mentors are not required to have a car, although many of them do. Mentors are encouraged to communicate with one another to coordinate multiple activities that students can choose from to participate. All mentors have access to the app “GroupMe” to communicate.
The mentors’ main responsibilities are to help the students with chores, homework, shopping, preparing meals, attend sporting events at ESU and community activities. The mentors help facilitate the CILLS students understanding of personal choice, responsibility and authentic participation in campus activities that are enjoyed by their ESU college peers.
The lead mentor, will send out a weekly calendar of events that will occur on and off campus. Mentors are required to fill out an Activity Log at the houses they work at, in order to get paid. The House Managers will sign off on the log and bring it to the Special Education Secretary each week. On the Activity log mentors will document the date, hours worked and activities they did with the students.