Students walking on quad in spring

Pathways and Connections Program

The Pathways and Connections Program (PAC) is an innovative, comprehensive, fee-based program designed to assist college-ready, neurodivergent students. 

The program, designed around student development theory, provides students with emotional and practical supports vital to success. Students work to develop skills in executive functioning, self-advocacy, problem-solving, independent living, social skills, and career development. 

The PAC Coordinator provides ongoing, individual support as well as educational workshops and support groups designed to help students identify their own strengths and needs, as well as helping them learn to communicate effectively with others. 

Schedule an Interview Request Information

Welcome to PAC

PAC Coordinator Claudia Goicochea with Valiant mascot
PAC Coordinator, Student Health and Counseling

Claudia is a Manhattanville Graduate who has joined SHAC as the coordinator of PAC. She earned her MA from Pace University and has spent her career working with people with different abilities. While at Manhattanville she was part of the International Students Organization, Orientation Advising Team, and Duchesne Center.  

Claudia specializes in positive and behavioral support and has worked in different clinical settings with individuals from all age groups. She has helped individuals gain insight into areas that need advancement which might include cognitive abilities, managing stress, anger management, coping, and social skills. 

Claudia strives to create a warm, inclusive, non-judgmental environment for students and wants to become a support and advocate for them.   

About the Pathways and Connections Program

Students gathered around advisor

The PAC Program Provides Students

Coaching and Support

  • Individual, Customized Meetings with PAC Coordinator
  • Weekly Group Sessions
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Social Events: On and Off-Campus


Program Cost

  • $3000 per semester
  • Combined with VLSP: $5650 per semester
  • Rates subject to change


Male students playing lawn games

Please Note

There is a separate application to be considered for both the Pathways and Connections Program and the Valiant Learning Support Program. Please see the link to the accommodation application process in order to learn more. Students must be enrolled and deposited at Manhattanville College before they are eligible to apply. While applicants enroll as degree-seeking students and are eligible for financial aid, the Pathways and Connections Program requires a separate fee that is not supported through financial aid packages.




How to Apply for PAC

  1. Log in to the Health and Accommodations Portal ( using your Manhattanville College username and
  2. Hover over the Accommodations tab in the sidebar and then select Application from the drop down menu.
    Proceed to complete the application as listed on Page 1.
  3. Upload any supporting documentation that you have on Page 2 (please - note you can submit the application without uploading
    documentation, but it will be incomplete until you either upload it at a later time, or deliver it to a Center for Student Accommodations staff member).
  4. Fill out the Pathways and Connections Program Application and/or Valiant Learning Support Program on Page 3.
  5. Submit your application.
  6. Schedule an intake interview with a staff member at CSA by calling 914-323-7127 or emailing Please note that your application is
    incomplete until this intake interview is completed.



Learning Objectives for PAC Group Members 


Assessment of Cognitive Abilities

To provide strategic and individualized support and guidance in preparation for the transitional period of their first year in college. Students will work with the Coordinator to build an understanding of areas of strength and areas of need in order to help set them up with appropriate services and supports both on and off campus.

Transition to College

Students will receive assistance while adjusting to college life and establishing a consistent routine. Students will receive assistance with adjusting to changes socially, emotionally, academically, etc. by attending group sessions, establishing a cohort of peers in the PAC group, building trust and rapport with PAC peers and PAC Coordinator, and possibly working with a PAC mentor.

Building Interdependence

Introduction to the resources on campus; learning how to seek resources, ask for help, and accept support. Establish a sense of trust with the PAC Coordinator through 1:1 and group meetings.


Students will be assisted and provided with tools to advocate for themselves and communicate with professors, staff, or other relevant parties. The PAC program will assist students in navigating the challenges they might face and asserting their independence.

Skill Building

Students will learn to manage academic responsibilities. Assistance in developing study skills and organizational techniques to manage academic demands of college. Emphasis provided on executive functioning, time management, goal setting, problem-solving, organizational, and independent skills.

Social Skill Building

Students will learn to develop social connections and strategies for navigating social situations through general social skills - introductions, establishing friendships, sharing, turn-taking, problem-solving through attending groups and 1:1 sessions that provide opportunities to learn and practice such skills. Students will learn to build relationships with academic staff

Emotion Management

Students will increase awareness of emotions, acting on emotions, feedback on emotions, and exercising internal control of actions/integrating emotions through participation in group sessions and 1:1 sessions. The program will assist students in maintaining self-care practices to support academic success and overall wellness.


Students will develop insight about their own cognitive, intellectual, and emotional limitations. They will work to increase their understanding of the ways they think, process, perceive, respond, and feel. Assistance will be provided in identifying their needs and communicating their needs to others.

Introduction to Career Development and Areas of Interest.

Exposure to job opportunities and career paths in 1:1 and group sessions that focus on areas of interest, resume writing, and ways to set themselves up for success. Presentation of volunteer and networking options during 1:1 sessions and group sessions. Introduction to clubs and organizations on campus. Encouragement to become involved with extracurricular activities in order to develop friendships with individuals who have shared interests.


Building Interdependence Continued

Students will continue to develop the building blocks for emotional independence (accept responsibility for themselves and lessen need for emotional approval from others, independence with regard to personal needs (laundry, food, etc) while seeking support and accepting help when needed.

Building Connections

Further integration in Clubs and Organizations, and the possible pursuit of leadership positions will be encouraged. Students will be encouraged to participate in academic groups and to continue to develop relationship within their field of interest and maintain friendships with individuals who have shared interests.

Social Skill Building

Developing understanding of more nuanced social interactions and maintaining friendships by attending 1:1 sessions and group sessions and exploring successes and difficulties within social interactions.


Continued exposure to job opportunities and career paths in 1:1 and group sessions that focus on areas of interest, resume writing, and ways to set themselves up for success.


Higher Level Social Skills

Learning about more intimate, longer-term friendships - why do they last/why do they end? Learning about romantic relationships and the associated risks of being vulnerable and getting hurt.


Learning to problem solve more effectively and independently, and advocating for oneself and own needs. Working to build more independence, while seeking feedback during 1:1 and group sessions.

Establishing Identity

Learning about "who am I?" and coming to love who I am by participating in group and 1:1 sessions that will allow students to express themselves, get to know themselves, and receive positive feedback from their peers.

Career Development

Finding and experiencing internship or job-related opportunities to help them to get prepared for, and excited about, the future. Developing professional relationships for networking and recommendations.

Developing Purpose

Students will work to establish career/vocational plans. The PAC Coordinator will work with them to explore possible internship opportunities or vocational opportunities to help set them up for success. The student will receive support with exploring "what is out there" and will be connected with Career Development staff who can further assist with navigating the job application process.

Developing Integrity

Through 1:1 sessions, group sessions, and the student's guided work with the PAC Coordinator, the student will work on connecting their own morals and values to their life experiences and aspirations. Student will work on learning about social justice, community service, and the value of "giving back."

Celebrating Success

Students will receive a "graduation" from PAC that focuses on their journey from a first year student to a college graduate. Their many successes will be highlighted by the PAC Coordinator and their PAC peers so that they are able to celebrate their accomplishments and receive praise and recognition for their amazing achievement. Increase likelihood of continued success after graduation by helping students prepare for life after graduation. Assistance will be provided as they readjust their identity as an alumni.



It is important to keep in mind that every student is different, and the specific objectives for each PAC student will vary based on their individual needs and preferences. The PAC program is a voluntary program and individual outcomes are based largely upon the level of collaboration and participation offered by the PAC member.


Contact Us

  • Pathways and Connections Program

    Claudia Goicochea
    PAC Coordinator
    Student Health and Counseling
    Spellman Hall G-17

    Joseph Gaines
    Center for Student Accessibility
    Library 134