University Economic Development Association


Learning for Independence for Cooperative Educational Service Agency 7 (CESA 7)

Award Category: Talent
Submitted By: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Contact: Meridith Jaeger, Dean of Corporate Training & Economic Development, 920.498.6995
Program Partner CESA 7
Video Program Video


Learning for Independence (LFI), a collaboration between Wisconsin’s Cooperative Educational Service Agency 7 (CESA 7) and NWTC, is a transition program providing opportunities for 18-21-year-old students with disabilities. The students attend classes on the college campus offering an opportunity to study in an age-appropriate setting, building their confidence and motivation to self-advocate and grow in independence.
As the movement toward closing sheltered employment organizations on a state and federal level continues, families of children with disabilities are seeking other options, and LFI provides that. Mary Derginer, LFI Program Coordinator: “LFI fills a social need… provides a vision where society could see the student’s worth. They are moving into a college setting… are able to contribute. They aren’t just people that need to be helped. They can be participating members of the community and the job force. Some will need resources, but they are contributing members of the economic workforce…the economy.”

University Economic Development Association

PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
216.200.UEDA (8332)