MI-LEND Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the goal of MI-LEND training?
The goal of MI-LEND leadership training is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with, or at risk for, neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorders) and other related health care needs. To achieve this goal, MI-LEND provides interdisciplinary training to emerging leaders through didactic (e.g. online coursework), clinical, and community experiences. Trainees come from many different professional backgrounds and lived experiences (e.g. self-advocates, family members).
Who is eligible to become a MI-LEND trainee?
MI-LEND trainees can come from anywhere in Michigan and from different educational, professional, and lived experiences. Those eligible to become MI-LEND trainees must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Student currently enrolled or accepted for the fall semester in a graduate level program (masters or doctoral)
- Post-doctoral students and fellows
- Medical residents
- Community professionals who have completed the basic professional level of training in their discipline (new professionals)
- Family members of a person with neurodevelopmental disabilities
What disciplines and/or life experiences do MI-LEND trainees represent?
Past MI-LEND trainees have come from the following disciplines of study and lived experiences:
- Family Members
- Genetic Counselors
- Health Administration
- Occupational Therapy
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Physical Therapy
- Public Health
- Social Work
- Special Education
- Speech-Language Pathology
Please note: Trainees can come from other disciplines that are not listed here (e.g, law, pharmacy, etc). All trainees must have a strong commitment to developing as a leader in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities.
What is the time commitment for long-term trainees?
MI-LEND long-term trainees are required to complete at least 300 hours of customized, interdisciplinary training. The LEND program takes place September through June, and includes:
- Didactic learning delivered through online coursework, 14 interactive Zoom sessions, and 6 all-day face-to-face training sessions spread out over the program year
- Interdisciplinary clinical experiences
- Community/family experiences
- Flexible training experiences
- Regular meetings with a MI-LEND mentor
Is there a cost to be a trainee?
There is no cost to be a MI-LEND trainee. In fact, those accepted as long-term trainees receive a stipend to help offset any costs incurred over the year due to travel or purchase of materials.
How can participating in MI-LEND benefit me?
The main benefit of MI-LEND training is that trainees are exposed to a variety of real-world situations, experiences, and experts through interdisciplinary, peer-driven activities. Not only is MI-LEND part of a national LEND network, but it is also a consortium of 8 Michigan-based universities and the Michigan Family Center. Trainees have opportunities to work with faculty, professionals, and family members from around the state. These connections have led to employment and research opportunities that trainees have been able to take advantage of. Upon successful completion of the program, trainees receive a MI-LEND certificate. LEND training is nationally known and associated with excellence in providing care and services to families of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
What kind of work are MI-LEND graduates doing?
Those who have graduated from the MI-LEND program have gone on to work in many different settings. Former trainees are using the skills they acquired through MI-LEND to provide leadership and care for children and families in audiology clinics, hospitals and medical offices, through psychological evaluation and ABA therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry, in schools, as family member peers, through advocacy, research, and in direct care and service settings.
What is medium-term training?
MI-LEND medium-term training provides individuals with between 40 and 299 hours of interdisciplinary learning experiences. Although these experiences are similar to what long-term trainees have access to, there is no formal application process, no cohort experience, and no set timeline to complete the requirements. Medium-term training is intended to give participants a baseline understanding of the MI-LEND principles and is not as intense as the long-term training experience. Medium-term trainees receive an intermediate-level certificate upon successful completion of the program. There is no stipend associated with the medium-term level training.
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be a MI-LEND trainee?
All long-term trainees must be U.S. citizens as there is a stipend provided to them as part of their participation. However, there is no citizenship requirement to complete the medium-term training.
How can I learn more about the MI-LEND training program?