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New Perspectives - Jun, 1999 Issue #58 

 Life Development Institute
Phoenix, Arizona
Rob Crawford, President
e-mail: LdlinAriz@aol.com

The Life Development Institute (LDI) serves older adolescents and adults with Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorders, and other related conditions. A community-based program in a residential setting, its current enrollment is 90 students from throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries. The high school students range in age from 16 to 21 years and 16 to 30 years old in the three postsecondary programs. “All are full- time students, and with few exceptions, hold part-time jobs for the purposes of developing work history, local references, and to provide some income to facilitate financial planning. They accept referrals from educational consultants, transition specialists, parent advocacy organizations and word-of-mouth.”

The Life Development Institute’s mission is to inspire students to experience success while optimizing their potential. They provide a “challenging, supportive learning and living environment through: Innovative Instruction in academic and workplace literacy skills; student empowerment; independent living; career planning; employability training; open communication, and developing a work ethic.”

Their program options include a residential high school and three postsecondary programs. “LDI’s Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) is a residential high school program that provides a structured, portfolio-based curriculum which focuses on development and growth of literacy, independent living skills, career development, and college or other postsecondary placement. The Academy is an Arizona Department of Education Charter High School with diploma granting privileges. “The LDI offers three postsecondary program tracks available to students who are high school graduates. In addition, an eight-week summer transition program is conducted. Postsecondary programs require LDI residency at the apartment complex campus with the exception that some Sonoran Desert College students (advisement is required) may opt to live off-campus.”

“The Sonoran Desert College offers credit and non-credit college- level courses to students who want: 1) associate degree requirements; 2) to build academic competency to college proficiency level; 3) to matriculate to four-year colleges or universities. The Career College Program, an off-campus program, follows an initial 3-month on-campus training period which emphasizes occupation-specific education and training from Phoenix area technical, business, and medical schools. The LDI provides support-related services, program advisement, mentoring and liaison/tracking with the other program. The Competitive Employment Program provides on-campus instruction in occupational exploration based on assessed interests and abilities combined with field experience and job-placement. The eight-week Summer Transition Program: 1) develops personal and career goals, 2) teaches appropriate interpersonal and communication skills on the job; 3) identifies and addresses barriers impeding personal or career goals. All programs include a variety of extracurricular activities in the evenings and on weekends. A major feature of all the postsecondary programs is a 5-7 day out-of-the-country field trip.

Most students reside on the LDI campus, which consists of thirty- two, two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, located in a culturally diverse middle-class neighborhood in central Phoenix. The campus also has a clubhouse, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, ˝ basketball court, washer/dryers and telephones in most apartments. Classrooms, computer labs, and administrative offices comprise the rest of the campus. Therapeutic services are not offered as part of the LDI programs.”

Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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