College Plus

College Plus offers people an opportunity to go to college or achieve a certification with support from a mentor. College Plus recognizes continuing education can help individuals develop a career path, explore dreams, make friends, and strengthen a person’s overall well-being.

Purpose

The purpose of College Plus is to help people go to and stay in college or attend a certificate program until they graduate or achieve their educational/career goals. Through support and mentoring offered by College Plus, students experience hope, perseverance, increased self-esteem, and reduced fear, which has helped students be successful in their studies and remain in college until graduation. Following their successful participation in the College Plus Program, students are encouraged to apply for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) where they can continue their educational path. In addition, the College Plus team can help students identify financial aid opportunities, scholarships, and grants, as needed.

College Plus offers peer support based on the needs of the students enrolled in the program.  Our Certified Peer Specialists, who themselves have had struggles while attending college, will mentor each student throughout the semester. For more information, please call or email the College Plus Coordinator.

College Plus has no age limitations and you can study any topic.  Anyone who meets the below criteria is welcome to apply.

Main Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be a resident of Bucks County
  • Have a documented mental health or co-occurring diagnosis
  • Have a strong desire to obtain a higher level of education, to advance their career or both
  • Ideally have typing skills and computer knowledge in Word and internet usage
  • Agree to meet with the Certified Peer Specialist as needed if accepted into the College Plus Program

Our secure application can be accessed by clicking on the link below. You will be redirected to the JotForms site.

**Once your completed application is received, you will be contacted to schedule an interview.**

H.A.N.D.® (Hope and New Directions®)

We will help you create a vision of your future by looking at your strengths, goals, challenges, supportive relationships, and steps you can take to be successful.  This personal planning model can help guide you in making decisions towards your future.  During the weekly peer support meetings with the Certified Peer Specialist, this plan will be discussed.  The College Plus Program will help guide you to accomplish your goals and realize your dreams!

History of College Plus

The College Plus Program was created in October 2007 as part of the spirit of advancing the focus of peer support and recovery in Bucks County. Since its inception, over 215 students have participated in College Plus.  Since the Fall 2018, about 63% of College Plus students remain in college thanks to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

TAP – Tuition Assistance Program:

Like College Plus, The Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP, in partnership with Bucks County Community College and Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs, was developed to assist individuals to pursue their goals in higher post-secondary education and career exploration.

A Natural Progression….

Many of our College Plus students have utilized TAP funding following their initial semester with the College Plus Program. We accept applications from those who meet the eligibility criteria below:

Main Eligibility Criteria for TAP:

  • Be a resident of Bucks County
  • Have a documented mental health or co-occurring diagnosis
  • Have a strong desire to obtain a higher level of education, to advance their career or both
  • Ideally have typing skills and computer knowledge in Word and internet usage

Comparing College Plus and TAP:

  • Funding for TAP is provided for one course per semester, including the summer, depending on the eligibility of funds. 
  • TAP students must complete the TAP application prior to each semester.
  • Students can continue in the TAP until their educational/career goals are met.
  • The College Plus Program is generally a one semester program and in order to continue into TAP, we require a passing grade of a “C” or above.
  • Previous TAP students need to earn a passing grade of a “C” or above in order to continue in the program. 
  • TAP students can be provided peer support at any time throughout the semester, as needed. 
  • Transportation and the cost of books and materials are the responsibility of TAP students. 

Applying to TAP:

The application process for TAP differs from that of College Plus. New applicants will be contacted for an interview. Please click on the link below, print the TAP Application, and follow the instructions.

**Please note: A recommending agency contact (such as your therapist, psychiatrist, or CPS) must complete and sign a portion of the application**

Counties Served:

Bucks County

Student Testimonials

College Plus gave me options, support, and hope for the future. As someone who struggles with depression, I often feel stuck. College Plus gave me a chance to move forward. Being able to take a college course not only provided me financial help, but allowed me to expand my support network, participate in college resources and clubs, and pursue my dreams.
Meeting to discuss my H.A.N.D. plan, I felt “wow, these people get me, and I can overcome my challenges.” When I was introduced to my fellow students in my semester’s College Plus Orientation, I felt less alone. Finally, throughout the year, frequent meetings with the College Plus Coordinator allowed me to stay grounded, stay out of my head, and keep moving forward. I am so glad I applied for College Plus and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Kevin T. (Completed the College Plus Program, Current TAP Student)

I am so grateful for the amazing opportunity College Plus has been for me. I had been terrified of returning to school after a failed attempt at a university seven years ago. With the encouragement of my case manager, I finally filled out the College Plus application and, before I knew it, enrolled in my first course at Bucks County Community College with the help and support of the College Plus Coordinator. I have gained so much confidence in my abilities throughout this semester and I am beyond excited to further my education with the aid of the TAP program as well. If it weren’t for the College Plus program I honestly don’t know if I would have the confidence and motivation to achieve the phlebotomy certification I am aiming for. One of the best things is that it doesn’t seem so distant a goal anymore! These past few months have been absolutely pivotal in shaping my perception of what I am capable of! I feel more ready to seize my future than I ever thought possible
-Abby S. (Completed the College Plus Program, Current TAP Student)

Students at the College Plus Celebration Lunch
College Plus Celebration Lunch

Graduation Hats, Throw, Graduation, Success, Degree