(Training Education And Resource Institute) Campus Of Life

Since TERI opened its doors in 1980, this nonprofit has been creating dynamic solutions for a huge need: a happy, productive life for the millions of individuals with developmental and learning disabilities. TERI has developed 20 model programs and services serving over 850 individuals and their families.

These include 13 residential homes, K-12 schools, fitness and wellness programs, adult enrichment, and vocational training. TERI’s innovative programs are recognized in the industry as the highest standard of care for this population, and families with special needs children and young adults are relocating to San Diego from around the country to benefit from the TERI experience.

Four decades after launching TERI, CEO Cheryl Kilmer and her team of more than 500 dedicated professionals and volunteers have been recognized for delivering uncompromising quality of life programs to its clients. That level of care cannot come soon enough for many families. With a 200% increase in the diagnosis of autism in the last decade, the need for quality services and programs dedicated to the developmentally disabled falls far short of the need. It is a need that extends beyond San Diego. 1.2 million children are born with congenital disabilities in China alone each year. Delegations from China and many other countries around the world have heard of TERI’s success with the neurodiverse population, which they are eager to replicate in their own countries.

Doing so, according to the indefatigable Kilmer, means first building a campus where TERI’s quality standards can be centralized and codified before they can be scaled. Today, TERI offers everything from speech programs and vocational support to equestrian therapy and performing arts productions.

These services are provided from several locations dotted primarily along north San Diego County. When it comes to tackling the physical, mental, and emotional needs of its clients, no challenge is too big for TERI’s team. But Kilmer’s vision far exceeds the local impact that TERI is providing. “We can do better, and we can teach others to do better,” says Kilmer.

TERI’s Campus of Life, a 20-acre site nestled in the warm hills of San Marcos, California, is the launching pad for global impact. With the help of over $20 million in community donations, TERI purchased the site and completed a state-of-the-art therapeutic equestrian center. Today, clients learn to trust the world around them and build confidence in their own talents and strengths while interacting with and caring for a stable of six horses.

The next phase of the Campus of Life is the key to unlocking Kilmer’s ultimate vision – to build the world’s first place where an integrated community can learn, create and thrive side-by-side. When completed, the master plan will include 111,000 square feet of facilities for a theatre, art studios, galleries, music production studios – all available for use by both TERI clients and the community. A fitness and wellness complex with one junior olympic pool will be key to emphasizing the active lifestyle that is crucial to TERI’s emphasis on health and self-esteem.

It’s an ambitious plan that requires vision, an uncompromising commitment to quality, and tenacity on the part of Kilmer, her team, and the community.


(760) 721 1706
251 Airport Rd, Oceanside, CA 92058

Submit your Innovation Story

Join and network with a global community of innovators  by sharing your success story with the world.



Our promise: we dislike spam as much as the next person, and promise never to break your trust in us. We will never sell data – this is only used for the INNOVATE® Newsletter