This fall, the pioneering Program for Advancement of Learning marks its 50th anniversary. Since the launch of PAL in 1970 by Dr. Gertrude Webb, hundreds of students have experienced true “life-changing” transformations moving from underestimating their academic potential to becoming competent, effective, independent learners.
“We witness our students walk through an incredible journey of self-discovery,” says PAL Director Dr. Laura Vanderberg. “They often know from a young age that things are happening differently for them. They describe being in the classroom as if they are at a magic show. They look around and see people reading, for example. That’s magical, and it’s not happening for them. They think, ‘how do I make that magic happen?’ With our program, students are finally feeling known and accepted for thinking the way they do. I’m excited to be a part of that ‘magic’ that is happening at PAL every day.”
After five decades, PAL is still the only program of its kind in the country and continues to lead in the use of assistive technology and accessible virtual learning models for students with learning disabilities.
See more on PAL’s 50th-anniversary milestone and how the program continues to impact current students today.