About WMLC

WMLC Staff 2011

WMLC Celebrating 10 Years! (2011)

West Metro Learning Connections (WMLC) began with a humble dream and a passion to provide an environment where bright and gifted individuals can learn the skills they need to succeed in the social world. Originally operating out of the Great Room of my home, with my daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth working at my side, WMLC was created for children with ASD and related social needs to learn and grow in an anxiety-free, nurturing family atmosphere. Through intimate facilitation in social skills, academics and self management, our approach has always focused on the inherent potential of our clients.

“The West Metro Way,” as we call our philosophy put into action, is equal parts friendship and professionalism. We believe that we can only begin to understand clients’ personal needs and capabilities by building genuine, caring relationships with them. Over the past decade, WMLC has seen an incredible amount of growth and progress. From an initial client base of 12 to over 100 clients currently benefiting from our services, WMLC’s reach has extended to a multitude of school districts and counties in and around the metropolitan area. From the limited confines of a single room in my home to the spacious, accessible Excelsior location, WMLC has matured into a fully functioning center.

As we celebrate our 10-year anniversary (in 2011), we look back with nostalgia and pride. It is the clients and their families who have made this whole experience truly wonderful and truly worthwhile. With over a quarter of my life dedicated to special education, I honestly cannot fathom doing anything else. As Confucious said, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” I am thankful to say that for the 36 years of my professional life I have been blessed with work and people I love.

On behalf of the staff at West Metro Learning Connections, my family, and me, we offer our utmost gratitude to each and every one of you of our current clients. If it weren’t for you, WMLC would not be. For those of your with whom we have yet to work, we look forward to the opportunity to get to know you and your child or student.


Debra Schipper

Founder and President


WMLC Edina Center Closing

November 7, 2017

Dear Friends of WMLC,

West Metro Learning Connections has been honored to serve the Metro area faithfully for over sixteen years.  After five rewarding years of serving from two locations, Excelsior and Edina, we have decided not to renew the Edina center lease and will consolidate back to our main location in Excelsior. 

The last day of service for social skills groups at the Edina center will be Saturday, November 18, 2017, the last day of Fall Term.  The last day for students in the Lotus Specialized Learning Center at Edina will be December 15, 2017.

This was a very difficult decision to make, as we value and care about each of our clients and want to continue working with and serving those who have been enrolled in classes at our Edina center. We truly hope that each of you will allow us to continue serving you at our Excelsior center.

We regret any inconvenience this closure causes and ask that you consider staying a member of the WMLC Family in Excelsior. 

While we will miss working from our Edina location, we believe that this consolidation will improve and simplify communication and coordination of services for everyone, increasing quality and leading to even more significant growth and happiness outcomes for clients.


 Debra Schipper