Longwood LIFE

A college experience for students with disabilities in transition from high school adulthood…

Program Overview–What We Did 

The Longwood LIFE Pilot Program, serves to provide young adults, whose disabilities have traditionally excluded them from higher education, with an inclusive experience that will further their lifetime skills and prepare them for employment and independent living in their communities.

Areas of program focus include social skills, functional academics, vocational training, health and wellness, and leisure and cultural studies. An afternoon seminar course designed for both parents, caregivers, and students, to develop their advocacy competencies in a variety of settings was offered. A portfolio documenting experiences and progress toward both program and personal goals was built during the Longwood LIFE experience. Six students ages 18-25 who were currently in high school special education programs participated in the program.

Longwood students of participating professors were involved in teaching courses and planning/supervision of activities related to the Longwood LIFE program as well as complete a survey for the study evaluating the impact of their teaching and learning experience through participation in the Longwood LIFE program and the overall benefit of the program on the culture of Longwood.

How you can help?

After a successful pilot, Longwood LIFE is raising funds for scholarships to reduce the cost for the students entering the program Spring 2019. One of the program coordinating team members, Ian Danielsen, is participating in the High Bridge Trail Walk on May 28th! As one of the creative educators who is helping to build the program, Ian has written this letter to his friends that we’d like to share and challenge anyone to get involved with helping raise funds for Longwood LIFE:    Click here to download a flyer of Ian’s initiative.

Happy springtime to all!

I hope this finds you well and enjoying all that this season has to offer us.  I wanted to ask you if you would consider collaborating with me in a fund-raising initiative I am part of.  In spring semester of this year, several of my colleagues and I planned and launched a pilot program called Longwood Life at Longwood University, to enable young adults with intellectual disabilities to come to Longwood as students for an enriching college experience.  Longwood Life was a huge success this semester, and all signs indicate we will be able to launch a two-year, four-semester program in spring semester of 2019, owing to our success and also committed support from leadership at Longwood.

Longwood LIFE students enjoying lunch in D-Hall

Our two-year program goes beyond enabling a college experience — it is an empowerment model committed to supporting our students’ developing competencies for independent living skills, including internships toward solid employment.

What we need to make our upcoming program truly inclusive is funding for tuition assistance. Even though we have managed to keep tuition and fees around $1,000 per semester per student, even this cost could be too large a burden for some families.

In other words, for a university inclusion program for young adults with intellectual disabilities to be truly inclusive, no student should be excluded because of their inability to pay.

So to help uphold that principle, on May 28th, I am walking a personal marathon, the full trail of High Bridge Trail State Park, a total of 31 miles in one day, or 50K. Would you consider pledging $30 on behalf of my walk, one dollar for each mile? If you can do that, I will then “go the extra mile.” 100% of your donation goes to the Longwood Life Foundation. If 100 people donate $30 toward my walking marathon, we will collectively raise $3000 toward tuition assistance for Longwood Life students for spring semester 2018. And would you consider sharing this note with like-minded friends and loved ones?

Thank You Immensely for Considering, Best and Love,

Ian Danielsen

To donate to the Longwood LIFE Foundation:

  1. Please go to the following link: Longwood University Foundation
  2. When selecting the Gift, credit card option, select the “designation” as “other” and type in: Longwood LIFE, and the account code 070 075 0002.
  3. If you’d like to send a check, make your check payable to: Longwood University Foundation, type in the memo: Longwood LIFE, Acct. Code: 070 075 0002 and mail to: Longwood University Foundation, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909


Coordinating Team: Ian Danielsen, Matt Lucas, Alex Caldwell, and Karen Feathers
Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909
Email: Karen Feathers: featherskh@longwood.edu   or  LancerLife@longwood.edu
Phone: (434) 395-2837 or (434) 962-6454