Life Development Institute’s Re-Accreditation with AdvancED
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Life Development Institute’s Re-Accreditation with AdvancED

The Life Development Institute received notice of its third successful re-accreditation of a five-year term from AdvancED at the end of the summer of 2016, and as a data-driven, evidence-based process, found our program to be well above the global Network Average of all schools and school systems!

AdvancED is the world leader in providing improvement and accreditation services to education providers of all types in their pursuit of excellence in serving students. AdvancED serves as a trusted partner to more than 32,000 public and private schools and school systems – enrolling more than 20 million students – across the United States and 70 countries.

An External Review team visited the campus as part of the AdvancED Performance Accreditation and provided LDI with a comprehensive evaluation guided by the results of diagnostic instruments, in-depth review of data and documentation, and the professional judgment of a team of qualified and highly trained evaluators.

In the past, accreditation reviews resulted in an accreditation recommendation on the status. Labels such as advised, warned, probation, or all clear were used to describe the status of a school relative to the AdvancED Standards and other evaluative criteria. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, AdvancED introduced a new framework to describe the results of an accreditation review.

Consistent with the modern focus of accreditation on continuous improvement with an emphasis on student success, AdvancED introduced an innovative and state-of-the-art framework for diagnosing and revealing institutional performance called the Index of Education Quality (IEQ™). The IEQ™ comprises three domains of performance: 1) the impact of teaching and learning on student performance; 2) the capacity of leadership to guide the institution toward the achievement of its vision and strategic priorities; and 3) use of resources to support and optimize learning.

The overall and domain scores can range from 100-400. The domain scores are derived from: the AdvancED Standards and indicators, ratings; results of the Analysis of Student Performance; and data from Stakeholder Feedback Surveys (students, parents, and staff).

The IEQ™ results below include information about how LDI is performing compared to expected criteria as well as to other institutions in the AdvancED Network.

                               External Review IEQ Score   AdvancED Network Average

Overall Score 294.87 278.34

Teaching and Learning Impact    297.62 268.94

Leadership Capacity                     286.36               292.64

Resource Utilization                     300.00                                                                                         283.23

The conclusion of the External Review Team including the following summary:

“The Life Development Institute continues to evolve as a specialized program addressing students on the autism spectrum. There was a strong sense of community among the leadership and staff around the purpose and direction of the school. The program had both a residential component and a day school component for students.

A major focus of the program was for students who still required special education transition services beyond the age of 18. The program served students in grades 9-12 who are earning core credits through online curriculum and provided postsecondary classes through the local community college to earn a high school diploma.

The previous accreditation visit prompted the school to implement the following areas of improvements: a student assessment and grading process to measure growth of academic and soft skills aligned with a national work skills program, a restructuring of classes to match the various levels of students, and further integration of technology to support student learning.

In the past five years, the Institute has expanded its focus on a definitive curriculum and applicable assessments to promote independent life skills, worker soft skills, and academic skills. The adoption of the ACT WorkKeys and the use of database platform for instructional delivery have been fully deployed for the classes. Technology has been integrated with faculty and staff who have developed a structured classroom model for each of the subjects. Computer-based instruction and one-to-one access to computers have allowed students to use technology as part of the learning process.

As a learning community, the values being embraced make a personal connection to students, building relationships to support their transition, addressing the academic and behavior, growth for autistic students, promoting a safe and orderly environment, and creating a transition for independent living for these students.

A major strength of the program was the one-to-one connection of the staff to every student and engagement of the families in meaningful ways to advocate for the success of each student. Each student has a personal plan of action and a student adviser who was assigned over the course of his/her participation in the program.

We are very proud of the accomplishments of our staff, students, and program, as well as gratifying for the support of our parents and professional networks for the LDI program!

This has been a special needs program update from Life Development Institute. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.