About This School
In 2010, Auldern Academy had 6 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The North Carolina average is 15 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2010)
Students Per Teacher (2010)
Auldern Academy Reviews
Our daughter has been at Auldern for the past thirteen months. She went there as an angry, confused and depressed teenager, and over the course of time she has been at Auldern she has blossomed. The therapists and teachers are very caring and professional, taking an active interest in each of the girls. The setting is tranquil and calming, and the staff have been wonderful to work with. We have had no complaints, other than it is very expensive. This school has helped our daughter tremendously, and she is looking forward to graduation and college.
Auldern helped prompt a huge improvement in our daughter's and our family's life. Any school with an at risk student population is going to have difficult issues to manage on a day to day basis; perfection is simply not attainable. Jane Samuel is strong at minimizing the glitches and running a good program. The counselor assigned to our daughter managed to make a connection with her and prompted some very positive change. Her academic motivation going in was non existent and the very sound teaching staff managed to rekindle it. Our expectations, while quite modest going in, were exceeded. No regrets here.
Auldern Academy was the worst decision we have ever made. Our daughter relapsed instantly after 2 years there. Apparently most of her friends have relapsed too. They do not have a strong substance abuse program. Our daughter went to meetings once a week and said they were sub par. The school made us doubt our daughters word and convinced us that she was manipulating us, when simply she was explaining the harsh treatment the girls get there. I have stayed in touch with other girls parents whom agree Auldern was a huge mistake. If you want to help your daughter look at the Oakly School. That is the one therapeutic school that I have heard only good things about. My husband and I regret our decision and feel as though any place would have been better. Auldern worsened our daughters problem. She has since picked herself up and gone forward but not because of Auldern.
Auldern Academy saved our daughter's life. Plain and simple. She was headed down a road of self-destruction, and despite my husband and I's best attempts to help her, we were not equipped with the tools and knowledge to do so.
Our daughter was transported to Auldern and spent the first few months of her time there very angry with us for making that decision. At times she would refuse to speak to us, but the therapist working with our daughter did a great job letting us know how she was doing so we did not second guess the decision we made. It was a very long process for our daughter to come to terms with her out of control behavior and really gain insight as to why she was partaking in such risky behaviors - but she did. We remain proud and amazed at the positive transformation she made.
Our daughter is now a senior at a small liberal arts college and has taken a great interest in the field of psychology. She entered Auldern as a lost soul who was seeking acceptance in all of the wrong places, but she left Auldern as a strong, self-confident young woman ready to take on any challenge she may face.
The campus is clean, the staff are dedicated, and I would imagine the majority of the students there make significant strides in bettering their lives. Sending our daughter away was one of the toughest things we have ever had to do as parents, but it is a decision we are thankful we made!
Although I did not want to be sent to therapeutic boarding school, I am glad my parents sent me. I was not headed down a very good path. I was rude and mean to my parents, stopped caring about school, and started doing drugs. I first got sent to wilderness and from there went to Auldern. I was at Auldern for almost 2 years and graduated from there. I am now completing my sophomore year in college.
There are 3 main parts to Auldern - Academics, Therapy, and Student Life. Showing that you can balance these areas and meet expectations is how you show you are ready to leave. Sometimes, however, it can feel like there is a disconnect between departments and that could be frustrating at times.
Academics is like regular school except it is a lot smaller. You get to know your teachers really well and they do a good job of trying to make sure are doing well. You definitely don't get that kind of attention in college which has been a big adjustment for me. Some of the classes are harder than others. We had a couple of different math teachers while I was there and there never seemed to be any real explanation as to why they left. They would just make an announcement that someone was leaving. Overall, the academics were what I needed at the time. I had been refusing to go to school before and Auldern helped me to actually care about school and my future. It was a hard adjustment for me to go from somewhere so small to a big college, but if I hadn't of gone to Auldern then I wouldn't have made it to college.
Therapy is like any therapy. You meet with your therapist once a week and then you have group or community therapy twice a week. I personally never found the groups to be shaming or embarassing. If you were getting called out in groups it was because you had done something you weren't supposed to and your friends were holding you accountable. I liked that the therapist were always there during the week, so if you needed something you could talk to them unlike wilderness where the only time you see them is when you have your session. I had a really good therapist (who I still talk to some to this day), but some of the other girls who were there when I was didn't seem to mesh too well with their therapist. Sometimes they would change your therapist if this was happening, but sometimes not. Some of the girls would really make a lot of progress in therapy, but I feel like other girls would just tell their therapist what they wanted to hear so they could try and leave faster. You are only going to get out of therapy what you put in.
Student life was kind of like the residential staff. They are the ones who would take us on outings (mall, target, movies, museums, etc.), make sure we were doing our chores, and oversaw the dorms. There were some staff who had favorites and they would not be as hard on their favorites. A lot of girls would play staff and go to one staff if they didn't get the answer they wanted from another staff. This was kind of easy to do because the staff work in different shifts that come in every few days so it was just easy to say that staff from another shift said something was okay to do. I always hated that we had to get up so early on the weekends to do community service, but all of us would have stayed in bed all weekend if we had the chance. When I was at Auldern it was very structured and I actually wish we had more free time, but that is what every teenager wants. It was a little hard for me adjusting to college because I didn't know what to do with my free time. Out of all the staff, I think I (and most of the girls) got the closest to student life staff. Although they were hard on us and made us do things we didn't want to do, I think they cared about us the most out of all of the staff there.
I think the school was being run okay when I was there. Jane Samuel was the head of school then. I think she cared about us all a lot, but sometimes she would say one thing and then twist her own words around to fit what she wanted in certain situations.
While you are there you don't think the people you are around are your friends because you miss your old friends from home, but some of my best and most supportive friends are girls I met at Auldern.
It wasn't an easy thing to be at Auldern, but I am greatful for my time there. I don't know how much money my parents spent for me to go, but we are a lot stronger as a family now and I truly think that is because of the growth I had in wilderness and at Auldern.
i would highly advise against it in all honesty. for the year i was there, it was extremely disorganized in terms of structure and i would say that some methods of "treatment" are questionable, relying heavily on shaming and embarrassment in a group setting. methods of "punishment", for example, can involve being pulled out of classes for weeks at a time and doing manual labor projects while not being allowed to communicate with any peers for any period of time as determined by a therapist.
the education was sub-par as well, they cut a lot of corners in whatever bare minimum of a curriculum they claim to follow (although the teachers are perhaps the most competent members of the staff, they have no competent leadership). i found many things to be dishonest about the way the program was run, much of it being misinformation i feel was given to my parents.
finally, when my mother began looking into removing me from the program before the mandatory 1-year contract was over, she was manipulated by the staff both emotionally and financially, as she was informed that she could not remove me from the program without losing thousands of dollars. i was stuck there long after i should have been home.
it was a really, really miserable time in my life that i would not wish on anyone. my mother has since apologized to me, saying "i did what i thought was the right thing, but i was wrong."