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Meet Michael Noel of College Internship Program in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Noel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michael. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
While in my last year of high school, I started working in a residential facility with individuals dual diagnosed with mental health and mental retardation. This opportunity was tough, but a great introduction to a world of supporting people who just needed someone to help them manage their day to day lives in getting the most of life by finding ways to contribute to the greater whole. I then, found myself moving into adult psychiatry at the local community hospital working on the locked unit with those who were experiencing severe psychosis, many of which received ECT treatments several times along with a Psychotropic medication therapy to bring them back to a sense of their current reality. After several years of working with adults and earning a BSS in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, I began working in child/adolescent psychiatric care. Through my work in psychiatry and mental health, I discovered a significant need for training in the staff who worked in these settings with individuals with special needs. I became a certified instructor in safe physical and de-escalation techniques that served to provide tools and resources to those working in these fields. I discovered a passion for Education and Training of others. After many years of working in mental health during the deinstitutionalization of individuals out of state institutions to the community, I managed a homeless shelter and support services for families. After earning a Master’s of Education Degree in Psycho-Educational Processes, I began my work in higher education providing support and expertise in a curriculum of technical programs and later Director, Regional Director and Dean of a group of colleges across southern California. Each one of my previous career endeavors leads me to where I am today and where I plan to retire if I am so fortunate to do so at CIP, College Internship Program. It’s truly a culmination of all my life’s work combined into a role within an organization that focuses on serving the needs of its consumers.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggles and challenges were mostly related to a world and communities that were just figuring out how to provide services and resources to a community of individuals with specific needs. I would say most of the challenges I faced and continue to be passionate about is an individual ability to self-advocate and to contribute to the greater society. So, often it’s forgotten that just because someone needs help or assistance from someone else that they are in some way weaker and unable to make individual decisions about what they want in their lives. In many cases, the people I have worked with over the years were never provided the encouragement, flexibility, patience and confidence to make their own decisions about the very simple things in life that we take for granted. The ability to communicate a need, want desire from within is an incredible power that lies within each of us. I have always been a strong advocate of believing in every human beings ability and overcoming challenges. My career experience, education and passion for helping others discover their voice in life is important to me.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about College Internship Program – what should we know?
The College Internship Program’s mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults on the Autism Spectrum, ADHD and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives. CIP is one of the most comprehensive programs in the world for assisting young adults with learning differences to succeed in college, employment and independent living. The organization was founded in 1984 by Dr. Michael McManmon who was also diagnosed at age 50 to help young people with Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum, ADHD and other Learning Differences make successful transitions from adolescence to young adulthood. We offer full year and summer programs located in Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana and California with a comprehensive curriculum developed specifically for students with Asperger’s, High-functioning Autism, ADHD, NLD and other Learning Differences. CIP’s Transition Programs for autism and learning differences provide real-life experience and skill development in areas such as social skills, executive functioning, sensory processing and wellness. Each student’s vision and goals are explored and help to determine their individualized services and supports. We meet them where they are and help them get to where they want to go.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Patience and connectivity to other human beings. Seeing the potential in others abilities while looking beyond what challenges are obvious. Reframing challenges to be opportunities that allow an individual to change and grow is a perspective worth exploring.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Brand New Center in Long Beach, CA 4510 E. Pacific Coast HWY Suite 100 Long Beach, CA
  • Website:
  • Phone: 562-961-9250
  • Email:

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  1. Charles D

    April 6, 2018 at 18:55

    This is a great article. It is good to know about services like these across the nation. Thank you!

  2. Angeles Josefina Almenas

    April 15, 2018 at 21:23

    It sounds great but are there any scholarships that could be sought to pay expenses which are very high.

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