(This post originally appeared April 1, 2014 and has since been updated.)
For high school seniors, it’s not a cliché — there really is a post-graduate school for everyone. From small colleges to large universities, from technical to trade schools, there are opportunities for everyone to advance their education and training to achieve (hopefully) better career and job opportunities in the future.
Believe it or not, that includes children who have struggled mightily to succeed in school due to a variety of specific learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, auditory processing disorder), ADHD, and even autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What’s really exciting is that in 2014 these young high school graduates are no longer locked out or otherwise disqualified from pursuing higher education. More and more colleges and universities are establishing robust learning centers on their campuses to help students strengthen their learning and living skills, offering menus of assistance in the form of academic coaching, one-on-one or group tutoring and advising, and using unique teaching techniques, small student-to-teacher ratios, and assistive technology to aid them. And now there are even colleges that cater solely to students who learn differently.
Landmark College is one such college. Located in Putney, Vermont, Landmark was established in 1985 to serve students with learning disabilities. For the second consecutive summer, Landmark will bring its unique mission to teach students who learn differently to southwestern Pennsylvania by duplicating its successful summer high school program. Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA will be the site of Landmark’s three week program that begins on June 28, 2015:
Students take three academic courses each weekday, participate in a robust activities program every afternoon, attend structured academic prep programs four nights a week, attend group programs and activities each weekend and, in group seminars, meet and learn from experts in the field of learning differences.
Full disclosure: My son is finishing his first (very successful!) year at Landmark College. Landmark’s reputation put it prominently on our parental radar some time ago. Reading about their vision of teaching motivated students who learn differently might give you the same impression:
We know that not everyone learns in the same way. Our experience with young people who learn differently suggests that a sense of self and a good insight into one’s individual learning style can make a big difference in outcomes at school.
For over 10 years our summer program has given participants a taste of college and an opportunity to join a learning community in which all the members are dedicated to academic achievement, mutual respect and personal change and growth. We offer a learning environment where students—and teachers—understand and share these values.
Our experienced summer faculty will help students:
Begin to understand individual learning differences
Develop a writing process that uses proven techniques to write faster, more clearly and with fewer struggles
Integrate strategies and practices into content courses
Begin to focus on the development of better daily habits
As we’ve noted on The PediaBlog previously, impediments to the pathways for efficient learning are not uncommon in children. The key to teaching these children in school is to find detours around the obstruction(s): giving kids the tools they’ll need to learn more efficiently — their way. Having a program like Landmark’s in southwestern Pennsylvania is kind of a big deal. If you have or know of a motivated student who struggles in school, check out more about this summer high school program here.