PCI Education - The First 20 Years . . . .
"Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found."
— James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)
PCI Education was created in 1991 with a vision of improving the quality of life for learners with special needs. The company’s founders--Janie Haugen-McLane, Jeff McLane, and Larry Felder-sought to teach individuals basic life skills through engaging, peer-based learning games and programs designed to nurture personal growth. In doing so, they changed an industry.
Early in her career, Janie McLane worked as a group home administrator for adults with intellectual disabilities. Group home residents must follow hundreds of strict, state-mandated rules which can be difficult to remember. As an educator, Janie wanted a program or curriculum to help her residents learn and remember day-to-day life skills. Unable to find what she needed, Janie hand-made the first Life Skills Game - and PCI Education was born.
In 1991, PCI Education received its first order for 150 Life Skills Games from San Antonio Independent School District. Recognizing an opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale, Janie , Jeff and Larry opened the doors on PCI's first office. Not long after, PCI mailed its first catalog with eight Life Skill Games to 10,000 potential customers. From this point forward, the founders set the company on a course to grow by creating innovative products and offering them in a catalog next to first-in-class products from other publishers.
During the 1990's, PCI acquired ParentBanc and Peekan Publications , expanding the range of products offered to customers by including educational toys and materials for students with learning disabilities. During that first decade, PCI designed some of the first survival sign curriculums, banking and money/math, and behavior skills programs. Many of these products are still offered in the catalog today.
In the 2000's, the PCI portfolio grew to include more complete curriculums including PCI Sight Words, various math products, a wide variety of supplemental programs for language arts, science and social studies. PCI became known for its targeted approach to critical skills, as seen in the Basic language art series and the Basic Math Practice Series. At the same time, PCI’s commitment to age-appropriate, high interest products continued to shine in titles such as the Real World Series.
A turning point came during the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. PCI went to Orleans Parish with a simple message: "We know special education, it's all we do." Janie Haugen-McLane appeared before the school district’s administrators next to many of the largest educational publishers and brought home a large order that made it possible for many school in New Orleans to rebuild their special education classrooms.
As the second decade came to a close, PCI was able to count over 200 products developed specifically for students with special needs. Several of the larger programs such as the PCI Reading Program have received national recognition for distinguished achievement from the Association of Educational Publishers. In 2010, PCI acquired five intervention programs from Kaplan K12Learning Services , expanding its services to students in general education who struggle to keep up with peers in their grade level.
Beyond the national recognition and business growth, PCI's commitment to students remains the same as it did 20 years ago: Help students achieve their goals by working with their strengths instead of their weaknesses.
From everyone at PCI, we thank you for our first 20 years and look forward to partnering with you for many more to help students of all abilities succeed in school and in the community.