Public Comment

Response to July 29 commentary

Mark DiPietro, Director of Marketing & Communications Landmark College
Thursday August 18, 2016 - 08:36:00 PM

The July 29 issue of the Berkeley Daily Planet included a Public Comment by Gar Smith titled “Has UC Berkeley become an Academic AirB’n’B?” Included in the commentary is a description of a five-day summer workshop for college students developed and sponsored by Landmark College, and taught by Landmark College instructors. The workshop was held at UC Berkeley from August 1-5.

While much of the information was factually correct, some was misleading. Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont, was founded in 1985 to serve students with dyslexia, and has since expanded to serve students with other learning difficulties. The phrase “students who learn differently” is not, as stated in the opinion piece, “the current politically correct phraseology,” but is an accurate description of the students served by Landmark College’s model. A learning disability is a neurological disorder that interferes with learning processes; “students who learn differently” is a broader phrase that can include other significant challenges to a student’s ability to process information. Landmark College serves students with many learning profiles, hence the use of the broader phrase, “students who learn differently.”

Students and adults with an LD are more prevalent than it might seem, as LD is “invisible.” The National Center for Learning Disabilities reports that 4.6 million Americans have a diagnosed LD but also notes that the actual number is likely higher. 

In addition to its bachelor’s and associate degree offerings, Landmark College offers several short-term programs for high school and college students who need strategies and skills to help them succeed in a college setting. The 5-Day Intensive Workshop for College Success is one such short-term program. Unlike Landmark College’s full-time degree programs at its campus in Putney, Vermont, an LD diagnosis is not required because the College’s philosophy is that every student can benefit from the introduction of various skills and strategies to help them become more independent and effective learners. 

We appreciate the opportunity to correct the record. For more information about Landmark College, please visit