CEDU-The Early Years-Interview With Bill Lane

Bill Lane 866-492-3400 www.BillLaneAndAssociates.com

Bill Lane joined CEDU in 1974 and was one of the early staff.  He was with CEDU for 32 years.  Lane joined Lon August 31, 2018 to describe what CEDU was like in the early years.  This discussion describes his relationship with the school founder Mel Wasserman, and how CEDU evolved from a program for young adult drug addicts and other troubled young people to a boarding school for high school adolescents that was a strong influence on the growth of therapeutic boarding schools.

Contact: Bill Lane 866-492-3400  www.BillLaneandAssociates.com

This is one of a series of short interviews about developments in the network of private, parent-choice schools and programs helping struggling teens and young adults. The guests are innovative leaders in this network.

Listen here for Bill and Lon’s discussion:


Part II

The 1960s was a decade of turmoil and change.  In the fields of Mental Health Treatment and in Education for young people there was a tremendous amount of experimentation.  One of those innovators was Mel Wasserman in California who founded CEDU in 1967 as a residential program for hard core young people with serious drug and mental health problems.  By the 1970s he had merged both those mental health and education endeavors into CEDU, a program that was treating adolescents using some of the experimental methods that had shown promise in helping these young people.  At the time there was considerable criticism of mental health methods of treatment, and also criticism of how we were not doing very well in educating our young people.  The time was ripe for a different approach in both areas.  Nationally, CEDU was one of the more successful attempts, by developing a specialized form of boarding school using techniques from treatment, with academic teachers to provide the graduates with a high school diploma along with staff focusing on emotional growth.  By the 1980s, when CEDU’s sister school Rocky Mountain Academy in Idaho had been founded, the common term to describe what the school had become began to be referred to an an “Emotional Growth Boarding School.”  By the 1990s the more common term became “Therapeutic Boarding School” to reflect the evolution to allowing use of psychotropic medications and the hiring of psychological clinicians.  This became the common term for hundreds of private residential schools around the country that saw how successful CEDU, Rocky Mountain Academy and the other five schools founded by Mel Wasserman had become.

The CEDU schools were closed in 2005 in bankruptcy after another company had bought the schools from Mel Wasserman a few years previously.  -Lon


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