Emerald Coast Learning Center

Get to know us

Emerald Coast Learning Center (ECLC) is a non-profit ABA Therapy-based private school and vocational center. ECLC is in the final stages of construction and is expected to be operational in the fall of 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year.

ECLC is comprised of academic classrooms, as well as a state-of-the-art specialized vocational training center. The facility is staffed by experienced, ECAC-trained staff members. Many of our employees have or are in their course work to attain their master’s degree. ECLC operates as a twelve-month, year-round program and our school hours are Monday - Friday 8:30am - 2:30pm. ECLC serves various unique learners, not just those on the autism spectrum. The creation of ECLC has enabled us to expand our academic offerings as well as our vocational training.

Our Academic Classrooms

ECLC offers academic classrooms from first through sixth grade, giving students additional time to catch up academically before either graduating out into a local public or private school, or pursuing a vocational track.

ECLC classrooms have a 6-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, with a maximum of 12 students per classroom, to provide students with a smaller group learning experience.

Emerald Coast Autism Center

Transition to Work

Over the years, ECAC has continued to grow to meet the needs of our student population and their families. All of our students are unique, and we strive to provide a path for learners of all levels. As our students have aged, we have seen the number of students following a vocational path grow faster than the number of students graduating back into the school system. For this reason, in 2019 ECAC developed a Transition to Work (TTW) program. TTW is a program through the Florida Department of Education, in partnership with Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC). NWFSC serves as the official jobsite for students in TTW, and students spend a portion of their week on campus learning job skills in addition to their classroom time at ECLC. With ECLC’s physical location on the NWFSC campus, this program is very convenient and offers numerous job training options for students.

Currently we have four active job sites on campus: Receiving Department (mail sorting and campus vehicle washing), Athletic Department (facility cleaning and organizing), Culinary Arts Program/Kay Litke Culinary Arts Greenhouse (planting, harvesting and maintenance), and Mattie Kelly Arts Center (ushering at performances). TTW students develop new skills and are given the opportunity to try new things and find out what jobs they enjoy. We believe that everyone, regardless of developmental level, should have the ability to choose a job that makes him or her happy and provides fulfillment.

ECLC offers pre-vocational and vocational/TTW classrooms with either a 3-to-1 or a 6-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, depending on the level of support required. All classrooms have a maximum of 12 students.

Establishing our TTW program was the first step in developing the ECLC facility. There are currently a lack of vocational opportunities in our community for people with unique abilities. We feel strongly that our students are capable of learning job skills and acquiring future employment, and ECLC will help our students reach this goal. ECLC offers training for jobs at various skill levels, with the goal of students gaining employment in one of three environments: internally at ECLC or ECAC, on the campus of NWFSC, or within our community through partnerships with local business. It is our mission at Emerald Coast Learning Center to help our students find a job that they love, one that fills them with a purpose, and one in which they find success.

Transition to Work

About Emerald Coast Learning Center

Other Programs

ECLC also offers an Enrichment Program for students seeking a recreation and social skills program. Full and half-day options are available to provide flexibility for families.

Our expert team

Meet the team behind our success story

Staci Berryman, BCBA

ECLC Principal

Lynsie LoPiccolo, BCBA

ECLC Assistant Principal

Pat Mills, BCBA

Transition to Work Coordinator

Princess Smiley

Transition to Work: On-Site Manager

Chad Martin

Transition to Work Community Coordinator

Amanda Reeves

Enrichment Program Co-Coordinator

Daniele Myers

Narwhals Teacher

Melody Steffens

ECLC Teacher

Sonya Griffin

Enrichment Program Co-Coordinator

Liz McKenzie, BCBA

TTW NWFSC Manager

Sharon Rushing

ECLC Teacher

Anne-Marie Miller

Hybrid Classroom Instructor

Shannon Raychel

Hybrid Classroom Instructor