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Landmark College Signs Partnership Agreement with Area Schools

by Madeline Bergstrom

PUTNEY, Vt. -- On Thursday, January 12, Landmark College signed a memorandum of understanding with three supervisory unions in Windham County, Vermont. Under the new agreement, Landmark College will provide middle and high school programming and professional development opportunities to Windham Central Supervisory Union (WCSU), Windham Southeast Supervisory Union (WSESU), and Windham Southwest Supervisory Union (WSWSU). Landmark College and the supervisory unions will also work together on grant writing ventures to support these efforts.

Three superintendents stand and talk in Cafe Court at Landmark College“We are providing students with learning differences with options that will provide them with opportunities and experiences they would not have without the relationship between Windham Southwest and Landmark College,” said Superintendent Christopher A. Pratt of Windham Southwest Supervisory Union.

“This agreement serves to support new statewide efforts to personalize learning for all Vermont students and to create flexible pathways to graduation,” said Dr. Peter Eden, Landmark College’s president. “We are thrilled to be strengthening our partnerships with these Windham County schools, and we look forward to making more local connections in the future.”

All programming and professional development will be focused on the needs of area students with learning disabilities, executive function issues, and other learning challenges. Landmark College exclusively serves students who learn differently, including students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, students with ADHD, and students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“Landmark College has been working in partnership with Brattleboro Union High School for some time,” Dr. Eden said, “but this new effort expands the age group of students to be served and builds out to other supervisory unions. Area students who learn differently will be able to benefit from the expertise and resources at Landmark College, including the state-of-the-art Nicole Goodner MacFarlane Science, Technology & Innovation Center, which opened in 2015.”

Peter Eden gestures and talks to group in Cafe CourtAt the signing ceremony, Dr. Eden spoke about how this partnership would help to create "a continuum of learning and succeeding" for area students. 

Selected middle school students from the three supervisory unions will participate in Landmark College’s Expanded Learning Opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ELO-STEM) program, which launched in summer 2016. In 2017, Landmark College will expand the program to two one-week summer offerings, one in computer science and one in forensic science, with more programs planned in the future. The program serves rising 6th through 8th graders.

“Middle school is the point at which many students begin to envision themselves attending college,” said Dr. Michelle Bower, Landmark College professor and chair of the mathematics and computer science department. “This program helps to support students who learn differently in seeing post-secondary education options in their future, including college study in the STEM fields.”

High school students who learn differently will have the opportunity to take courses at Landmark College, either on-campus or online, through the College’s dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment students earn college credit while in high school.

“We at Brattleboro Union High School and the Windham Regional Career Center are excited to continue our partnership with Landmark College,” said Superintendent Ron Stahley of Windham Southeast Supervisory Union. “We are especially pleased with the expansion of college-level courses for our students.”

Gail Gibson Sheffield and Peter Eden in Cafe Court“The dual enrollment program will allow area high school students to attend Landmark College classes through a hybrid format, primarily online with some face-to-face meetings,” said Dr. Marie-Pierre Huguet, Landmark College’s director of online learning. Dual enrollment courses are taught by Landmark College faculty, all of whom have expertise in executive function issues and other learning challenges.

The supervisory unions will also receive discounted rates on professional development programs at Landmark College, including certificate programs in executive function and universal design. The Landmark College Institute for Research and Training also offers workshops, webinars, a Summer Institute, and an LD Innovation Symposium, all designed for professionals who work with students who learn differently.

“Landmark College has provided training to area educators for decades,” said Dr. Manju Banerjee, Landmark College’s vice president for educational research and innovation, “and we look forward to working more closely with these supervisory unions to meet the professional learning needs of their teachers and administrators.” 

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