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Notre Dame College is marking the 15th year of its comprehensive Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences, one of the nation’s first dedicated academic programs for students with ADHD and other learning disabilities, with a new center name.

Notre Dame has transformed its Academic Support Center into the Thrive Learning Center to support students with documented learning disabilities like autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and others. The center focuses on holistic and personalized academic, social and emotional support for those with learning disabilities to thrive in a traditional college environment.

“Refreshing our name captures our aspirational attitude about the college experience for those with learning differences,” said Mary Jo Levand, director of the Notre Dame Thrive Learning Center. “At the Thrive Learning Center, we support our students beyond academics – from finding friends, enjoying campus, building confidence and being prepared to succeed in their life after graduation.”

The College’s Thrive Learning Center is a fee-based support center that delivers far beyond what is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act in providing individualized support for those with learning differences. For example, every academic tutor in the Thrive Learning Center is credentialed in the subjects they are teaching and are trained to tutor students with learning differences. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the pressures faced by students who learn differently and demand for dedicated services is increasing.

Notre Dame has cultivated a student-centric culture for all students, incorporating best-in-class methods to help them succeed. The college is creating a “chill spot” in the Thrive Center, equipped with aroma and light therapy and a body massage chair for relaxation, that will be open this fall for students to de-stress. In addition, campus living at the College has a “calm floor” that serves as a quiet floor open to all students, with priority access given to Thrive students. The Thrive Learning Center will be offering Adult-norm testing in the fall for current NDC students to help them obtain the documentation necessary to request accommodations for the GMAT, LSAT, MCAT tests as well as the CPA examination.

In addition to these new features and name, the logo of the center has changed, depicting the confidence and success that is unique to each student in the program. The differentiated “i” letter form demonstrates the power of the individual and uniqueness of each student in the Thrive Learning Center.

As part of its holistic approach, the Notre Dame Thrive Learning Center hosts social events to help students meet friends outside of the center and get involved on campus. Consistently, more than 50 percent of the supported students participate in extracurriculars at the College, including NCAA Division II athletics and performing arts.

Several students with learning differences at Notre Dame have graduated in the top 10 percent of their respective classes, many earning top honors. Each Thrive student goes through individualized major and career exploration, job interview and career preparation, networking and help with job placement as needed.

“Students with learning differences are often labeled incorrectly as students less likely to succeed in college,” Levand said. “We all learn differently, and at Notre Dame College, we know that students with learning differences are just as capable of success in college as any other student with the right supports and personalized approach to learning-in-place for them.”

For more information about the Thrive Learning Center at Notre Dame, visit the center website.

March 2021

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information, contact pr@ndc.edu.