Independent living: the freedom to make your own choices

Life after high school: do you see yourself living on your own or with a roommate? Will you drive or use public transportation? What about making new friends or managing your health?

Maybe you think you still have a long time to think these things through, but it takes time to build independent living skills. In this course, we'll cover what independent living skills are, why these skills are important, and what you can do to be ready for living independently.

Learn at your own pace through online modules that include engaging and accessible videos, practical activities, and high-quality resources.

Are you an educator or service provider who wants students to be prepared for independent living?

Educators and service providers can use this course to assist students with increasing their behaviors and knowledge to live as independent as possible. The content can be taught in either in-person or virtual environments.

Featuring videos, practical activities, and high-quality resources, this course is free, accessible, and provides 10 recertification points if approved by your building administrator.

Lesson 1: Decision Making

One of the most important parts of being independent is making your own decisions. This lesson introduces you to a decision making process to assist you in making more thoughtful decisions for yourself. You will practice using this process for gathering information, reviewing your options, and, ultimately, making a final choice.

Lesson 2: Healthy Relationships

Relationships affect the quality of your life, and living on your own includes learning how to have healthy, positive relationships. This lesson provides the basic skills you need to form relationships with others in your personal life and at work. You will learn how to start new relationships and the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. You will also learn how to safely use social media to connect with friends and family.

Lesson 3: Transportation

Getting around to places on your own can feel exciting or sometimes even overwhelming. Learning some key transportation skills is important as you become more independent. This lesson provides information on the options for accessing your community. You will learn about transportation skills and how to stay safe when you are out in the community. You will also learn about resources to help you practice transportation skills.

Lesson 4: Financial Management

Once you are earning your own money, you need to learn how to manage that money so you can continue to take care of yourself. This lesson provides you with information on handling your money and budget. You will learn tips for managing your personal finances so that you have enough money for your daily needs and for reaching your long-term goals. You will also learn about checking accounts, savings accounts, and what to consider when using credit cards.


Students, grades 8 and higher, who have a desire to take a self-paced online class to learn more about the skills and knowledge necessary for independent living.

Educators, school counselors, service providers, and family members interested in utilizing the course content to equip individual students or groups who are interested in gaining information to live independently.

For those interested in facilitating the course in small-group or whole-class instructional settings, CTI provides The Get Ready for Independent Living Facilitator's Guide.

Technical requirements

Participants need a computer with internet access and the ability to view PDF and watch videos. CTI video lectures are captioned and have transcripts.

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Flexible
  • Lessons: 4
  • CRC Credits: 10 Credits Recertification Points: 10 Points
  • Pace: Self-paced
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