Programs for Learning Disabled Students at Landmark College
By President Peter Eden, Landmark College
Many colleges and universities offer programs and resources to support students with disabilities, including students with learning disabilities and difficulties (LD). These programs are typically embedded within or positioned next to “conventional” academic and student life programs on campus. Usually, some accommodations are provided, and many students with LD experience success in such models.
However, many others struggle in ways that suggest that they need more robust and focused programs and resources aimed at their LD--or that they need an all-encompassing and dedicated model that better integrates such resources into every aspect of their lives. Unfortunately, few colleges and universities are able to do either of these things, as most institutions are almost terminally differentiated (to use a science term) and therefore cannot or will not adapt to such a change to their program and identity. At Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, though, we serve only students with LD, and we serve them through abundant resources that are present in every aspect of campus life.
Since its start 30 years ago, our dedicated model has provided integrated resources and approaches carefully engineered within an overall academic and student life program that supports students who learn and often operate differently. For example, we offer specific support for students with a language-based LD, as well as highly effective support services for students with ASD to help them navigate the social aspects of life on a college campus (in and out of the classroom). Yet we also serve students with ADHD and those with gifted LD (aka “twice exceptional” or “2e” students who have both a high IQ and an LD). For all of these bright students, simply being in this unique college environment ensures that they have the best of both worlds. From its founding, Landmark College has created a universal approach that suits all students yet is enhanced by specific resource platforms that help certain LD profiles.
Very few colleges (only two, in fact) have a dedicated model for students with LD. At Landmark College, we combine this omnipresent and comprehensive system with targeted and highly deliberate support resources for specific learners, if and when they need them. You cannot find a more personalized approach in higher education--one which is as complex and adaptable as the students themselves. #