USM Teams with Local Schools on Alternative Ed Program

2/18/2013 12:00:00 AM

(Leavenworth, Kan.)—Starting this fall, University of Saint Mary education students will help serve in instructional roles for the students of a new alternative education program managed by the Leavenworth and Lansing School Districts.

The program will be held in available classroom space in Lansing and feature a blended curriculum of face-to-face and online instruction for students in grade levels 7 through 12 who are struggling in a traditional school setting. The program’s goal is to help these students learn and ultimately graduate with a high school degree.

“For the students of Leavenworth and Lansing, we hope this program allows them to see that college is a possibility and a college education is something they want to attain,” said Dr. Gwen Landever, director of USM’s education programs.

“For our students, we’re giving them the opportunity to do practicum in this alternative setting as well as giving them the chance to serve as mentors and interact with a diverse group of students.”

The alternative program will initially have capacity for up to 50 students. Participating students will work on a personalized plan with staff and move at an appropriate pace though custom academic content. They’ll still have access to the extra-curricular, vocational, and athletic opportunities of their home school.

“The University of Saint Mary has engaged in several different collaborative efforts with the Leavenworth Public Schools over the decades, including some that have been of direct benefit to LPS teachers and students and others that have enhanced the university’s efforts to graduate the best prepared teachers of the future,” said Dr. Bryan Le Beau, USM’s vice president for academic affairs. “As we are both engaged in the business of education, we embrace all such efforts, as we do this opportunity to join forces with the Leavenworth and Lansing Public Schools to operate an alternative learning center.”

Dr. Eric Punswick, associate superintendent of support services for the Leavenworth School District, said “the Leavenworth and Lansing school districts already partner in an adult online degree completion program, and this addition will address the needs of students currently in Lansing and Leavenworth schools and extend support to the middle school level. The joint approach will help personalize education and provide proactive support by bringing key community resources together to effectively serve area students.”

Call 913-758-6159 for more information on USM’s participation in the program.