Raskob Institute’s History

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Raskob students in the 1960sEllen K. Raskob Learning Institute (RLI) was founded in 1953 by Sister Eileen Marie Cronin Ph.D., Professor of Education at Holy Names College (now Holy Names University), as a summer clinic that provided one-to-one educational therapy to students in grades 3-8 with learning disabilities. As such, RLI is one of the oldest programs for learning disabled individuals in the United States.

The original workshop was held at the old College site at 21st and Webster for only 35 children. In the early years Raskob was known throughout the country as a program that trained teachers in its innovative approaches. It was also a site for research in the learning disabilities field. Over time the focus of RLI shifted from research and training to providing direct services.

In 1959, Sister Eileen Marie approached the Raskob Foundation for a car so that she could make her services more accessible to the Oakland community. Rather than granting her a car, Robert Raskob of the Raskob Foundation decided to build her a building!

In March of 1960, the building that Raskob Learning Institute and Day School currently resides in opened its doors. It was at this time that the clinic began offering teacher training, diagnostic teaching to children, as well as research in the field of education focusing on learning disabilities.

In 1973, Raskob Day School (RDS) was established with an entering class of four students, and was licensed by the State Department of Education as a Nonpublic School (a school that can receive placements and funding from public school districts and must comply with regulations regarding teacher credentialing and state education codes). Since then, the school has continued to grow in both enrollment, as well as academic offerings.

Today, both the Clinic/Diagnostic Programs and the Day School thrive. The Clinic serves members of our community by offering Educational Therapy, Neuropsychological Assessments, as well as a comprehensive Summer Camp. The Day School now serves students in grades 3rd-8th and has an enrollment of approximately 70 students.

If you’d like to see more historical photos of Raskob Institute, visit Holy Names University’s Preserving Historical HNU blog or their Flickr sets of their photo archives.