Goodland’s approach to academic education is based on the belief that most students function better in a self-paced educational environment. Our low student-teacher ratio also ensures the opportunity for individualized attention and instruction.
Each entering student at Goodland is given a series of diagnostic tests to help us determine the most appropriate grade level for placement. The assigned curriculum for each student is based on his personal academic strengths and weaknesses. Because everyone learns at different speeds, students spend as much time as is necessary on each lesson before they advance to the next. Students must also score at least 80% on testing to prove their mastery of the material before moving on to the next lesson. This procedure ensures that students are not put in the difficult position of working on more advanced material before they master the basics.
The student's education extends beyond the classroom as students are given opportunities for extra-curricular activities and career-building skills. Overall, Goodland strives to pinpoint each individual’s areas of need, and then concentrates our efforts to maximize each student’s overall level of success.
The residential facility at Goodland focuses on group interaction and individual responsibility. Students learn how to interact with their peers and supervisors, as these kinds of interactions are vital for success in the “real” world. The students live in one of our two residential cottages—with up to eight boys in each cottage. Each cottage is headed by a married couple, who serve as the “cottage parents” and their role is to provide structure and support for the students in a traditional family setting.
Upon arriving at Goodland, each boy is placed with a roommate in the cottage that best suits his needs, usually according to age. This allows the boys to learn how to interact with others and work together in a team. Although living in a double room, each boy has his own personal living area, closet, study area, and a comfortable bed. Furthermore, all of our students are given responsibilities, including cottage chores and maintenance of their own living space and laundry. The chores are divided equally so that all the students are able to contribute to the group. There are also on-campus work assignments that focus on being good citizens in their community. Students are also given the opportunity for feedback. All of these roles are designed to help the boys become self-governing citizens with a good work ethic and high moral standards.
Spiritual education is an integral aspect of Goodland’s overall philosophy. Religious history and values are incorporated into all that we do and teach at Goodland. Our students attend services each Sunday in various local churches; and they also attend Bible study on campus every Monday evening. They also attend youth services at a local church every Wednesday evening.
During the summer break and during the various holiday seasons, the boys often have an opportunity to attend services at other churches that help support Goodland. In the summer months, the students have an opportunity to attend church camps, i.e., Mo Ranch and Dwight Mission. Our entire staff also strives to adhere to Christian principles in all of our dealings with each other and with the boys in order to foster a more loving and positive environment.