Mad River Valley, Vermont. Photo: Jeff Knight.

True North Wilderness Program, Waitsfield, has received the Research Designation Program Gold Standard from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). The RDP designation informs parents and consumers that True North Wilderness Program, a program dedicated to helping young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties, has demonstrated valid, data-driven, and evidenced-based outcomes as determined by a third-party academic institution.

"True North Wilderness Program has provided data that evaluate the impact and effectiveness of its school or program," said Michael Gass, Ph.D., director of the NATSAP research database located at the University of New Hampshire who leads the evaluation efforts for the RDP designation. "This data demonstrates that they are deserving of this highly coveted designation."

"It's important to note that the RDP designation is not awarded to every NATSAP therapeutic school or program member," said Gass. "This designation is only granted to those programs conducting an active and valid research program used to guide and evaluate the program's best practices.