University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

2017 Summer Institute Intensive Session

Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute


Day 1 Opening Keynote

The Future is Bright! Why Early Intervention Matters, and What's Out There After Graduation

For many Early Intervention practitioners, there can be a sense of wondering about their clients—we know early intervention is vital, and it works, but what really happens? And even with all the supports that happen as small children and throughout the school years, where do these individuals go once they graduate?

Learn about Minnesota Life College (MLC), a unique post-secondary program specifically for individuals with ASD and learning differences that provides training and support related to independent living, social skills, vocational readiness, and community connections, which allow our graduates to live autonomous lives, working and living independently, while making a meaningful impact on their peers and community.

Minnesota Life College staff will be joined by graduates of their program, recipients of early intervention who are now thriving as independent adults, as well as their parents, key partners on the journey to a healthy, happy adulthood. Learning about Minnesota Life College’s unique lifelong programming will give you resources and hope for what is next, and meeting the students and parents will energize you and remind you of how life-changing your work can be!

About the Speakers

Anna HilfersAnna Hilfers, Minnesota Life College, Director of Undergraduate Programs

Anna Hilfers joined MLC as the Director of Programs in August 2016 and has made amazingly positive connections with students and families, as well as upgrades and enhancements to the curriculum and programming. Before joining MLC, she served in a variety of teaching and educational leadership roles over the past 10 years, primarily with individuals on the autism spectrum. Some of the roles include classroom teacher and senior team manager for a school- and home-based therapy company. In addition, she was a lead behavior therapist that provided 1:1 skills training, family skills training, individualized skills programming and behavior management. Her academic background includes a Master of Science in Education, a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication, and an Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategies & Support Certification (sensory challenges, behavior management & emotional regulation).

Nina JonsonNina Jonson, Minnesota Life College, Director of Enrollment and Outreach

Nina Jonson has a long history with and love for MLC, speaking to students and parents at over 20 different events, classes, and seminars for nearly a decade, and has been the Director of Enrollment and Outreach since May 2015. She is passionate about the right of every young person to have healthy relationships, friends, social skills, and opportunities for connection, and is so excited to be working for an organization that aligns with those beliefs! Since 2006, Nina has worked in the field of adolescent and young adult sexual health, with a focus on young people with special needs. She has won Teenwise MN’s Outstanding Individual of the Year Award specifically for her work with this population. She believes deeply in the motto, Real Skills for Real Life™ and is excited to share with prospective parents and students how life-changing MLC can be! Nina received her B.S in Education from UW-Madison.

Minnesota Life College Students and Graduates and their families


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Last modified on February 21, 2013.