Lakeland to launch Life & Career Studies program
Lakeland University will launch an inclusive post-secondary college education program for students with intellectual disabilities this fall.
Lakeland’s Life & Career Studies program, based at LU’s Main Campus in rural Sheboygan County, will provide an engaging, full-time residential program for students with intellectual disabilities that features a four-year, personalized curriculum designed to promote academic, social, personal and professional growth.
“The various elements of this program will foster self-determination and provide a gateway to meaningful employment and independent and community living for our students,” said Kate Dvorak, director of the Life and Career Studies Program who serves as the students’ primary advisor.
Lakeland’s program is the sixth of its kind among Wisconsin colleges and universities, the fourth that is an inclusive on-campus, residential program. Lakeland’s program is now accepting applicants for enrollment in the fall of 2023.
Preparation for meaningful employment is a major program focus. Lakeland will leverage its Cooperative Education program, which provides real-world learning in paid positions with Co-Op partner companies and organizations. Students will receive career-related instruction and coaching integrated throughout their coursework. Each student’s final year of study is devoted to a paid internship and transition.
“Lakeland is well positioned to implement this program given its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and expertise and experience in offering quality Cooperative Education programming that prepares students to succeed after graduation,” Dvorak said.
Along with attending regular academic and Cooperative Education classes, students receive specialized instruction relating to independent and community living through a selection of seminars and 1:1 coaching tailored to their needs. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an institutionally endorsed audited certificate comprising academic coursework consistent with their interests and plans for the future.
Students enrolled in the program will be immersed throughout the university community—academics, arts, athletics, student life and career exploration. Peer student mentors will serve in a variety of roles to support students in these areas.
For more information, visit the program’s website at lakeland.edu/life-career-studies or email LifeCareerStudies@lakeland.edu.