MNLEND Starts New School Year with Revamped Curriculum

Sun Aug 13 2017
Logo of ICI's Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) Program.

On August 24, the 2017-18 cohort of MNLEND Fellows begin their two-day orientation and person-centered training, just in time for the 34 trainees to benefit from the Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) program's new curriculum, which has been redesigned into 10 themed modules. ICI's MNLEND is an interdisciplinary leadership training program spanning 18 disciplines across the University of Minnesota that facilitates development of health care and allied health care leaders with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to allow them to take committed action in the areas of neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD)/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and related intellectual and developmental disabilities. "As we just completed Year One of our five-year grant renewal, we felt it was a good time to revamp the curriculum," says program coordinator Rebecca Dosch Brown. "Trainees will find the learning more cohesive and memorable now that it is clustered together into themed modules, unlike the many one-off topics delivered in the past. With the Maternal Child Health and LEND competencies as our guide, we also added depth to each in-person thematic module by locating, reviewing, and selecting a list of curated self-study online-accessible resources (such as webinars, online modules, and online readings related to each theme) to allow for deeper and more focused study outside the classroom."

All trainees must complete the Leadership module - the only module spread out over the year - and will be introduced to each of the remaining nine modules. Every trainee may choose at least five elective modules for in-depth study. "This tailoring and re-organizing of the curriculum will allow us to practice what we teach: MNLEND trainees can now create their own person-centered learning plans," says Dosch Brown. The nine elective modules include: Overview of ASD; Challenging Behavior and Positive Behavioral Supports; Other NDD and Co-related Disabilities; Cultural Competencies and the Intersectionalities of Race/Class/Gender; Critical Issues in NDD; Person- and Family-Centered Care; Public Policy and Advocacy; Treatment and Interventions Across Disciplines; and Alternative and Augmentative Communication.

The curriculum was redesigned by the MNLEND Leadership Team of Amy Hewitt (Director), Joe Reichle, Michael Reiff, Barb Kleist, Beth Fondell, and Dosch Brown. MNLEND is funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.