BY SUSAN GRIFFIS, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING FOR SHEPHERDS COLLEGE
One size does not fit all. It never has and never will. Whether we’re talking about stretchy gloves, undergarments
or unisex t-shirts, one-size-fits-all is blatant propaganda designed to sell to a mindless majority without considering the specific needs of the individual. So, on a larger, much more important scale, why would anyone approach post-secondary education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the one-sizefits-all mentality?
Is the Inclusive classroom beneficial for all students? No, it is not. Does the Mixed/Hybrid program meet everyone’s educational needs? No, it does not. Can a Specialized school be effective in training people with intellectual disabilities in daily living and job skills to ensure successful inclusion in their communities? Of course it can. Shepherds College, an accredited three year, post-secondary program in Union Grove, WI, is proof that a specialized model of education can be exactly what many learners with intellectual disabilities need for fruitful growth toward life-long, community inclusion and independence.
With a program designed to meet the educational needs of the individual, Shepherds College is able to assist in the
transition of their students from a secure and tailored college environment to a life of independent living, healthy relationships and meaningful work in their communities. We accomplish this through our philosophy of Appropriate Independence™, a level of supported self-sufficiency that is aligned with the strengths of each student and guided by Christian values. Appropriate Independence is supported by four principles which provide the foundation for all instruction and activity at Shepherds College:
• Everyone is designed on and for a purpose. We help each student explore their strengths and abilities to discover that purpose.
• We are created as individuals with unique gifts meant to be offered and used within community. The students
gain insight into their personality, preferences, rights and responsibilities and learn how their individuality can influence the world around them.
• We train for life. Our teaching is relevant to daily living, it is continual, and it ultimately leads to a life of fulfillment.
• We empower the students to serve others and to make an impact on society.
The Shepherds College mission is strong and simple – we exist to educate and train students with intellectual and developmental disabilities by equipping them to reach Appropriate Independence through the development of vocational, social and life skills while inspiring a lasting awareness of God’s plan for their lives. We do this in a
specialized setting with over 55 years of expertise in supporting people with intellectual disabilities guiding our training. At Shepherds College, students can select from two vocational areas of study, Horticulture and Culinary Arts, and take classes in four main areas of learning:
• Functional Academic Skills
• Spiritual Life
• Daily Living Skills
• Social/Emotional Skills
Our secure campus offers graduated living environments, including dorms, homes and apartments, each with advancing levels of responsibility to build on daily living and social skills learned in class.
Please don’t overlook Shepherds College in your search for legitimate post-secondary options to meet your student’s educational needs. Contact Shepherds College at 262-878-6365 for a brochure explaining each category of post-secondary educational options. This brochure will help you and your student determine the best fit possible for the next step in the journey toward independence. You can learn more about our groundbreaking program by visiting us on our website at www.shepherdscollege.edu or e-mailing the college at firstname.lastname@example.org •