To provide a comprehensive website with current and accurate Higher Education Resources
The internet washboards people with information about higher education; some is true and much is false or outdated. Things have changed in the last 40 years and continue to evolve daily. What some parents know about higher education is also obsolete. This begs the question, how can you find what you’re looking for, if you don’t even KNOW what information you need?! Identifying what to look for and embarking on a journey to find the accurate information, and that which is relevant to YOU, can be a daunting task! Our solution is to provide a comprehensive, well organized and FREE resource to help students, their families, Educators and other Professionals, to navigate the world of higher education.
To establish a time-saving tool for Higher Education Research
This site is a starting point. Instead of spending indefinite periods of time wading through books and the internet, we have distilled the process down to some basic steps. We accomplish this by providing strategic resources to empower students to explore and choose pathways to develop a career. This website is, in NO way, a replacement for being guided through the pursuit of higher education by a School Counselor or Independent Educational Consultant. If you need more personalized service than what the website offers, you can send us an e-mail with questions and a request for booking hourly time with our Co-Founder and IEC, April Miller. You can also look in our Business Directory for an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) to hire.
To share pertinent Advancements in Neurodiversity Education
Advancements in understanding how Neurodiverse people think and learn have been transformative in the last four decades. The motivation to design higher education programs and services has fostered a niche within the higher education industry. In 1985, Landmark College was founded in Putney, Vermont as a higher education institution solely for Neurodiverse students. Then in 1989, shortly thereafter, Beacon College was founded in Leesburg, Florida with a similar intention to provide higher education opportunities solely for people who learn differently. There are also now over 400 colleges and universities in the United States that provide a broad continuum of educational services meeting the diverse needs of these students, and empowering them to find access to and success in higher education. For many students, a pre-college Transition Program is necessary to facilitate the development of college readiness skills. Many families are not aware of the breadth and depth of the programs and learning support services offered by both pre-college Transition Programs and by Programs offered through many colleges. Therefore, our Foundation has come into being, inviting students, families and a wide array of professionals, to explore and understand the world of Higher Education for Neurodiverse students.
To shed light on the financial investment in Higher Education
Students and parents need to spend money wisely as they consider a higher education investment. Some parents are going to spend more on their kid’s education than they did on their first house. How do you determine the right-fit career and pathway to that career, that also fits within your budget? Start HERE!!
Authority Definition: We define AUTHORITY as the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected by other people. Our Co-Founder, April Miller, brings decades of experience in education working with students who think and learn differently to LDND Foundation. Our other Co-Founder, Michael Daley, engages in continuous research into higher education for sutdents who learn differently, in order to keep up with trends and changes in the industry of college counseling. Together, April and Michael are an Authority on LDND Higher Education.
LDND Definition: Learning Differences and Neurodiversity are becoming more mainstream terminology that we are shifting towards, as we outgrow the label of “learning disabilities.” Our philosophy is that thinking and learning is not a “one size fits all” that everyone must adhere to. We do not subscribe to a belief that there is one right way to think and learn that exists, and therefore it must be sought out by casting aside a myriad of wrong or lesser ways. Optimal learning and thinking is as unique as each individual human being! We acknowledge that people have learning differences. We are not saying that they are broken because of this. We are making a statement that their minds work differently than the norm.
Neurodiversity: It means that people have diverse ways of thinking and learning. An individual person who learns differently is considered Neurodivergent. We also welcome terms like Neurodiversability, Learning Diversibility and Learning Identities. Anything that identifies these differences in an objective or neutral manner, fits within our philosophy as a foundation. We want to both empower the people who identify as Neurodivergent, as well as spread awareness to everyone else to embrace, support and respect Neurodiversity.
Foundation Definition : We define FOUNDATION as an underlying basis or principle upon which something stands or is supported. We are an organization that is created and supported with money that people give in order to do something that helps society. We are also the starting point for students building their own foundations in become self-sufficient citizens as a result of finding their path and their place in the world of work. Our website is the first stop to gather resourceful information, strategies and pathways to higher education. As a FREE foundation for consumers, with information that is thorough and well-organized, self-starters can begin their journey towards developing a career and perhaps a lifelong love of learning. Our foundation has been established to be the authority on higher education for students who learn differently and are Neurodivergent. Our intention is to give people the information that best serves them, and to provide it in a manner that saves people time and money, as they prepare to launch!
This website is by no means a replacement for working with a professional Independent Educational Consultant (IEC)! We provide an overview of several pathways to higher education and careers. Our site is a great place to start exploring careers of interest and the schools and training programs that can provide the necessary learning supports to enable students who learn differently to thrive academically and personally. However, every individual has different needs regarding what services they require and the level of support that will enable them to be successful. These distinctions are not delineated in our lists of certificate and degree programs, or GAP and transition programs! We have distilled down the list of top programs to direct you as you begin your search. We provide the opportunity for consumers to click on links and directly explore the websites created by these programs and schools. The breadth and depth of parameters one considers in this process is comprehensive. Our site is by no means exhaustive! We strongly encourage that anyone looking to embark on a pathway to higher education, explore working with an Independent Educational Consultant who specializes in Higher Education for Neurodivergent students!
Independent Education Consultants (IECs), who are members of professional organizations have the education, training and commitment to ethical standards required to provide the best service in assisting people with higher education planning. Professional organizations require that they have a Bachelor's Degree AND either a Master's Degree in Counseling or a Certificate in College Counseling issued upon completion of one of the University of California graduate level programs or one of the other highly regarding Certificate programs for College Counseling. IECs customize their services to their clients, and they work with them 1:1. Their caseloads are low; they typically work with 20-30 students annually. Public High School Counselors also have the education and training to support students through higher education planning. However, they have other significant job responsibilities including course scheduling with students and managing mental health challenges. They also have significantly larger caseloads; (the national average is greater than 350 students per counselor!)
The disabilities that are addressed on this website are Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders including ASD and ADHD. The disabilities that aren't addressed include: Intellectual Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities, Physical Disabilities and others that do not fall under the categories of Learning Disabilities or Related Disorders. These are not addressed because they go beyond the scope of our expertise!
Students who go to college with diagnosed Learning Disabilities and a track record of having received learning support services in High School, have often had an IEP and/or 504 in place, outlining their accommodations and support services. While these documents may be considered by the college in the determination of which accommodations to approve, that decision is made at the college's discretion. In order to set students up for success in college, the specific supports need to be identified, and the level of supports required must also be clear. The right-fit college is one that will provide the level of supports that will enable them to: perform academically, navigate daily life tasks successfully, and socialize effectively. There are almost 4,000 colleges in the United States, and less than 25% of them provide learning support services or a fee-for-service program that go above and beyond the legally required, and often inadequate, accommodations. Choosing to work with an IEC who specializes in college planning for Neurodivergent Students is the best way to identify the right-fit colleges for each student's set of specific needs. The following information indicates what is legally required, and supplemental services and fee-for-service programs which are offered by some schools.
Required by LAW:
Free Accommodations ONLY!!
No Learning Specialist
Students need to be strong Self-Advocates
Peer Academic Tutoring may be provided: NOT required
Learning Center Staffed by Professional (with a Degree)
Facilitate Student Self-Advocacy
Possible provision of Peer & Professional Academic Tutoring
Possible Executive Functioning Coaching (for study skills and organization)
Possible Workshops / Support Groups
Possible Summer Orientation
Separate Fee-based Program for LD students
Full-time Director and Staff Members
Staff may be involved in admissions process
Staff may advocate on behalf of students with faculty
Executive Functioning Coaching in 3-5 sessions weekly, in groups and/or 1:1
Workshops / Support Groups
Possible courses for study skills & Executive Functioning skills
Possible Planned Social Activities & Social Skills support.
What You Need To Know!
1. THE LAW: The FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) of 1974 is a United States federal law that governs the access to educational information and record by public entities including Educational Institutions. Colleges can not legally provide information to parents about their student's performance in college classes, and/or use of support services unless the student signs a waiver.
2. ACCOMMODATIONS: They are available to students with diagnosed Learning Disabilities free of charge at colleges in the United States. Students must self-advocate to get the accommodations approved by providing documentation specified by the college. Faculty must then be informed with college documentation regarding the approved accommodations.
3. FREE SUPPORT SERVICES VS. A FEE-BASED PROGRAM: Colleges provide learning support services to ALL students free of charge; these may include: a writing center, math center, peer tutoring and a counseling center. However, both support services and fee-for-service Programs intended specifically for students who learn differently, are only offered at certain schools and vary widely between colleges.
4. ASSESSMENTS, DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT: Public Schools for students in k-12 are required to provide assessments for students with suspected Learning Disabilities and/or Related Disorders. If given an LD diagnosis, the school is then required to provide services to support the student's learning in school. However, once a student is 18 and a legal adult, colleges are not required to conduct assessments, diagnose and/or manage treatment for LD or related disorders, beyond providing accommodations.
1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and thinking differences like dyslexia and ADHD. These challenges are caused by variations in how the brain develops and processes information. But it’s unrelated to intelligence. It just means kids need strategies and supports to help them thrive.
NCLD’s 2017 “State of Learning Disabilities” report, go to ncld.org/StateofLD.
In 2019/2020, the number of students ages 3-21 who receive special education services under the IDEA was 73 million, or 14% of all public school students.
Per National Center for Education Statistics
Only a small number of kids who learn and think differently receive accommodations or specialized instruction.1 in 16 public school students have IEPs for LD or for other health impairments (OHI).
NCLD’s 2017 “State of Learning Disabilities” report, go to ncld.org/StateofLD.
Lack of self-advocacy and self-regulation skills may explain why students with learning disabilities who attend any type of postsecondary school are less likely to graduate than students without disabilities.
The businesses who advertise on this website, represent in our opinion, the highest standards in higher education, products and services for students who are LDND. The collective experiences of IECs and High School Counselors who specialize in working with LDND college bound culture, along with students who have attended these programs and utilized the services, inform the "top picks" programs chosen to be on our website. That coupled with continuous research into new programs/services and the evolution of those that exist, is responsible for the information provided.
The advertising dollars and membership sales cover the operational costs of the site and staffing, enabling us to provide this information to the consumer for free. Additionally, 25% of the total revenue brought in by advertising and membership sales will go into a scholarship fund for LDND students pursuing higher education.