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During this period, emphasis is placed on a confident and productive return to the community.

Groups are focused on the anxieties produced by meeting people and building relationships with peers and with authority outside Elan; and in coping with the mundane realities of life such as balancing time and effort and expenditures. Every parent should be·aware that failure to adjust in the first try at Re-entry or even after several tries does not necessarily mean total failure. It does indicate that additional work is needed. One of the characteristics that makes Elan different is that we do not ever give up easily.

Elan student is ready to graduate when it has been demonstrated that he or she can consistently be productive, honest and non exploitative. We expect Elan graduates to behave with self-control even when frustrated and use their new knowledge to solve the problems of living. The average length of stay is 18 - 22 months, very rarely less than 14 or more than two years. Prior to graduation the student's status is reviewed by the staff. The candidate must present a comprehensive plan for a new life and must demonstrate the skills to actualize his plan. Earning a diploma at Elan is an accomplishment; it represents acknowledgement of the student's work and personal achievement. When a student graduates from Elan he has no criminal record. Furthermore, mental hospitals do not give diplomas nor is there pride in having been a patient. An Elan diploma is the record of earned self-esteem and real pride. Graduating from Elan and going out into the world as a totally free and unrestricted person is the goal cherished by all. Some graduates falter at this point. If this happens - if a student should regress after graduation - Elan recognizes a continued obligation toward that student and family. The graduate may return to Elan for the necessary length of time to reestablish the ambition, courage and determination needed to face life in the real world. We never simply graduate a student from Elan and end contact. We keep in touch with Elan graduates; we try to talk to graduates at least four times a year for the first two years and every six months for the last three years. That is how we know the program works.