All Kinds of News for July 11, 2018
Minnesota Life College announces a change in name to Minnesota Independence College & Community with expertise in adults on Autism Spectrum and those with Learning Differences who need both training and community to live independent, vibrant lives. The Board of Directors of Minnesota Life College voted in support of a resolution to change its name in August to MICC, pronounced ‘em’ ‘eye’ ‘see’ ‘see’. MICC stands for Minnesota Independence College & Community.
The new name reflects the equal importance of offering a three-year vocational college program and a community program with lifelong services that enable individuals on the spectrum and those with learning differences to live independent and vibrant lives.
Amy Gudmestad, Executive Director of MICC explained that offering both post-secondary and lifelong services in a city with exceptional employment partners and robust public transportation brings success for its students and graduates, adding “We leverage the uniqueness of the city, with all its excitement, challenges and diversity, because we believe a vibrant life comes from continuous learning in the world.”
The new name reflects the importance of vocational training. In a society where the ability to get and keep a job is one of the single most important factors to being able to live independently, only 32.5% of young adults with autism spectrum disorders currently work for pay. Through MICC College and MICC Community programs, 90% of graduates become employed and achieve independence.
The new name also reflects a focus on the benefits of being engaged in community. Roughly one in four young adults with autism is considered socially isolated – meaning no contact with anyone outside of family for over a year. They are more likely to never see friends, never get called by friends and never be invited to activities.
MICC College students receive experiential community learning and graduates can opt for a MICC Community program with lifelong services, which include apartment-living coaching, career support and the opportunity to participate in over 80 structured social, community and wellness activities every month.
“Our students learn and practice the social skills needed to create friendships and enjoy the Twin Cities community,” explained Gudmestad. “And the community enjoys the extraordinary talents offered by our students and graduates.”
And the new name reflects Minnesota’s reputation for offering excellent education, progressive programs and organizations that serve underserved populations, including those on the spectrum and those with learning differences.
“Our graduates, who have come from all over the country - and in some cases other countries - are now living successful and productive lives. Those who are on the spectrum and with learning differences are seeking our Minnesota program to learn how to live the kind of lives they deserve,” said Gudmestad. “We look forward to continuing our mission to transform the lives of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum and learning differences.”
The National Longitudinal Transition Study -2, through the National Center for Special Education Research, funded by the US Department of Education. Roux, Anne M., Shattuck, Paul T., Rast, Jessica E., Rava, Julianna A., and Anderson, Kristy, A. National Autism Indicators Report: Transition into Young Adulthood. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 2015.
About Minnesota Life College Now Minnesota Independence College & Community (MICC)
Minnesota Life College is a 501(c)3 nonprofit vocational and life skills training program for young adults with learning differences and autism spectrum disorders. Since our founding in 1996, MLC has remained dedicated to helping our students make successful transitions towards independent living and financial self-sufficiency. MLC is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.