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Program Overview

Collegium Optimum at Mercy University

Mercy University's innovative new program, Collegium Optimum, is designed to help students with behavioral health conditions continue to recover while working towards a college degree. 

Navigating education while healing from emotional distress is often an isolating journey. Traditional colleges often lack specialized comprehensive behavioral health support. This leaves students and their families trying to manage fragmented care on their own, while adjusting to the rigors of a college program. 

Collegium Optimum is the first and only US Therapeutic Day College.  It was designed to address a critical educational gap for thousands of college students nationwide. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to nurture efficient academic growth while fostering emotional resilience. 

Program Structure

Collegium Optimum consists of an onsite therapeutic program blended seamlessly with online credit earning college courses to create a uniquely supportive academic environment.


Onsite Therapeutic Program

The Therapeutic Day College offers an outpatient array of evidenced based therapies for students whose behavioral health needs can be met by an office based setting approach.

Online College Curriculum

Mercy University developed a unique curriculum listing with a number of online credit earning courses that students will take to advance their academic goals.

Continuous Program

The program runs continuously throughout the year.
Mercy Manhattan Entrance

Mercy's Manhattan Campus

Students in the Collegium Optimum attend Mercy's state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of Manhattan, at Herald Square. 

Manhattan Campus Location
47 West 34th Street (Near Herald Square)
New York, NY 10001

Gabe Kaplan

Clinical Experts

Collegium Optimum co-founder and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Gabriel Kaplan, M.D. brings extensive experience in designing therapeutic educational programs. 

He has operated several therapeutic day high schools – a combination of medical and psychosocial models alongside traditional learning. Collegium Optimum pulls on this experience to develop an effective model for college learning. 

Learn More About Dr. Kaplan

How to Apply

To make sure Collegium Optimum is a good fit for a student, applicants undergo clinical and academic assessments.

To start the application process to Collegium Optimum students should reach out Dr. Gabriel Kaplan at (201) 280-2991 or The initial discussion will establish eligibility for Collegium Optimum and if it might be an appropriate resource. 

After initial discussions students would need to complete the following to apply for the program. 

In person interviews will be scheduled at Mercy's Manhattan Campus for a clinical assessment. 

The comprehensive behavioral health assessment is used to confirm if sufficient stability and recovery progress have been achieved to make Collegium Optimum the right choice for a student to be successful working toward their degree. Active participation from both the applicant and their family is essential.

Collected information includes:

  • Student's perspective on their situation
  • Family's perspective on the student's situation
  • Current and previous psychiatric and medical records

Once Dr. Kaplan, the student, and the family agree that Collegium Optimum is the best option, the applicant may begin the academic assessment by starting an application to Mercy University via our online application. 

Visit our Admissions page for more information on requirements and how to apply.

Successful completion of both clinical and academic evaluations qualifies the applicant to continue the admissions process.

At this point, we will be able to provide comprehensive financial information regarding program costs, as well as administrative regulations, so that you can proceed with enrollment into the Collegium Optimum program and Mercy University. 

Prior to starting the program, Collegium's multidisciplinary team meets with the student and family to develop a Student Therapeutic Educational Plan (STEP). This essential document outlines individualized goals, objectives, methods, time frames, and expected outcomes. 

After this final step you are ready to begin the program. 

Rolling Admissions

Collegium Optimum provides enrollment flexibility, allowing qualified applicants to begin at any point throughout the year to best support their needs.

Program Costs

The program is estimated to cost $9,500/month. This includes both academic and medical services costs. 

Financial Aid is available to students to help cover the cost of tuition. Students may also be able to off-set some of the cost of the clinical component using out-of network health insurance support. 


Collegium Optimum is a blend of college-level education combined with tailored behavioral health support. The program is designed to propel students who are recovering from emotional distress towards academic success. 

The Therapeutic Day College model used in Collegium Optimum, was created for college-level students who have faced hurdles in initiating or continuing their education due to psychological or psychiatric distress. 

Throughout the program students will participate in remote learning provided by Mercy University. By attending online courses and fulfilling degree-specific assignments, students earn credits and work toward earning their degree. 

Services offered by the program include: 

  • NeuroPsychiatric Evaluation

  • Medication Management

  • Individual Psychotherapy

  • Group and Family Psychotherapy

  • Individual Educational Coaching

  • Academic/Career Advising

  • Therapeutic Educational Plan 

  • Joint University and Therapeutic Program

Students come to our facility five times per week where they take credit earning classes online while working on site with our expert team of behavioral health and educational professionals.

Our supportive environment, coupled with behavioral services, fosters both educational and emotional progress. 

Each student progresses through the program at their own pace. The length of stay varies based on their individual progress, spanning from several months to an extended period.


Contact Us

Reach to Dr. Gabriel Kaplan with any questions about the program or application process: or  (201) 280-2991