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New Perspectives - Apr, 2000 Issue #68 

Richfield, Minnesota
Shannon Timm, Admissions Coordinator

“Minnesota Life College (MLC) is an innovative college-like apartment living program for young adults with neurological impairments that interfere with managing their ability to live independently. MLC is a non profit organization that was established to address the unique needs of these young adults as they transition into adulthood.”

It is a two-year program “with options to purchase Transition and Outreach Services beginning in the third year.” MLC states their focus is to help their clients develop “autonomy and self-purpose” as they grow from their experiences in “independent living, vocational exploration and social development.”

There are three phases. The first, referred to as the Core Phase, fosters skills necessary to “maintain a household, live independently, and function effectively within a community.” In this phase they also develop competency-based skills in “functional academics, financial management, health and wellness, social skills, self esteem, career exploration, career development, leisure/recreation exploration and independent living.” Each student lives on campus and is assigned an MLC case manager to individually help in all these areas.

Once a student has developed basic competency, he/she can move into what they call the Transition Phase. The students still live on campus, but the focus becomes sharper in preparing for postsecondary training and career employment, including evening transition seminars, while still receiving all the Core Phase services.

The Outreach Phase is when the student has graduated from MLC and has shown an ability to live independently. Students may live on or off campus, while “actively pursuing their career choice either by working and/or through postsecondary education.” MLC staff are available to help the student, however in this context they charge hourly fees when the students need the staff, rather than charging a tuition that covers all the services available, as is the case for services provided in the previous two phases.

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