Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) and the SKILD Center held a press conference to launch the new IDEAL program, a two-year postsecondary certificate program for students with intellectual and development difficulties. The program is offered by NDU in collaboration with the SKILD Center and an accredited American University.
The purpose of the program is to offer a university experience for students with special needs, to enhance their academic, professional, and interpersonal skills, allowing them to lead successful careers in a competitive job market and helping them become productive citizens.
Speaking on the occasion, NDU President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, explained how inclusion is a core pillar embedded within the University’s mission and how he strongly believes in the potential and future of this program. NDU has a strong commitment to providing quality education for all and to an ever-evolving understanding of education, promoting better learning, and fostering a strong sense of citizenship in our students.
Dr. Nabil Costa, CEO of The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, agreed that this program could have a significant and lasting impact. “This program is not only a beacon of hope for individuals with intellectual and learning differences, but it is a testament to the progress we are making as a country. The development of this program shows that our society is heading in the right direction by acknowledging the inherent value and worth of all people and recognizing the unique capacity each person has to contribute meaningfully to the workforce and to society at large.”
Director of the SKILD Center, Hiba Al Jamal, shared the potential scope of this program’s impact. “What excites us about this program is how it will integrate academic, social, and career skill advancement for the students. This has an immense capacity to benefit not only their own lives by opening up opportunities and enhancing their personal development, but it also opens the door for enhancing society’s development as we learn to become more inclusive, accommodating, and accepting of differences.”
Dr. Elie Badr, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NDU, highlighted the importance of this program in offering a unique opportunity and learning experience for the NDU students, overall community, and the students who will join the program as they get ready to join the job market.
Students will undergo a specific admission and screening process as part of the requirements to join the program. Recruitment for the academic year 2021-2022 is now open and interested candidates can contact Notre Dame University-Louaize at 03- 781069 or the SKILD Center at +961 71 88 85 44.