Switzer Learning Center began as the South Bay Center for Educational Therapy in a leased storefront in Hermosa Beach in 1966. Offering an innovative educational therapy program to a few students with learning disabilities, our founder Dr. Janet Switzer’s after- school educational therapy became a groundbreaking model for working with children with learning and emotional problems. In 1972, our services were expanded to include a nonprofit, nonpublic, special education school; and the new Switzer Center moved to Torrance.
Our executive director, Dr. Rebecca Foo, expanded our services to include a nonpublic agency and psychological services under the new name Switzer Center School and Clinical Services after Dr. Switzer retired in 1994. With the move to a new custom built campus in fall 2005, Switzer Learning Center almost tripled in space, allowing for more students and services in our Heritage School Program. To serve the needs of students with moderate to severe autism, the Spectrum Program began in 2006, and the Self Advocacy and Independent Living (SAIL) Transition Program was added in 2012.
The Center has a highly respected history of more than 50 years of working with children who have been unsuccessful in traditional classrooms because they need the special attention and encouragement that only a school like Switzer can provide. In a caring, supportive, and individualized academic program, students learn to develop their strengths, accommodate for their weaknesses, and build upon their successes – one step at a time. We have helped thousands of students of all ages and learning abilities achieve their academic and personal goals that were unattainable in conventional academic settings. It is gratifying to see children’s faces light up when they realize that they have finally mastered a concept, correctly calculated a math problem, or discovered that reading can be fun and exciting. These are everyday miracles at Switzer Learning Center as we fulfill our mission of “Nurturing students of all abilities to believe, achieve, and thrive!”