Educating the Educator
Teaching and learning environments today — at all educational grades and levels — involve students who come from diverse backgrounds and who possess a wide range of abilities, experiences, strengths and needs. The prevalence of students who learn differently, such as students with learning disabilities (LDs) including dyslexia, ADHD, and ASD, has increased noticeably in the past 20 years. The growing diversity of students in the classroom has often outpaced educators’ current toolkit and skillset of pedagogical practices; therefore, these students (and the educators serving them) encounter many challenges each day that make learning very difficult in traditional settings.
As educational institutions in the U.S. face a surge in students with diverse needs and face increased pressure to improve access, retention, and true measurement of successful learning, it is essential that we prepare our educators with the right strategies and practices for educating a new profile of learners. Despite the growing number of students with LDs currently challenging our best instructors and adding to the heterogeneity of classroom learner populations, precious few institutions dedicate their systems, philosophies and pedagogical approaches to this deserving population of our society. However, among those focused on changing the lives of students with LDs is Landmark College.
To provide such opportunities and to meet the needs of today’s education professionals as well as instructors-in-training, Landmark College now offers a graduate level certificate program in Universal Design (UD) and Assistive Technology (AT). This certificate program distinguishes itself from others because it combines two critical components of education — universal design and technology, and is offered in a “blended” format that combines the convenience of online learning and access to direct interaction with faculty and students on the Landmark campus.
To fulfill our mission, which is to transform the way students learn, teachers teach, and the public thinks about education, Landmark College — now a four-year institution — is offering technology and innovation-driven undergraduate and graduate programs that educate the educator, while also serving a moral imperative which is to provide an optimal environment for those who learn differently. Of course, we cannot do this alone. We seek to form strategic alliances with other educators and institutions, in an effort to change many more lives and modernize our educational models on a national if not global scale.#
Dr. Peter Eden is the president of Landmark College; Dr. Manj Banerjee is the VP of the Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). For more information about Landmark’s new graduate certificate program, please visit www.landmark.edu or call LCIRT at 802-387-1662.