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Selecting a College for Students with Learning Disabilities

As you are selecting a college, there are many things to consider, especially in relations to learning differences. While there are many excellent support programs; often that application process can be daunting and there is much information to sift through. Below are a few things to consider as you go through the selection process.

Support, Services, & Accommodations

While all colleges and universities are required to have a disabilities office, services can vary greatly; figuring out what makes a college the best fit for you begins with the programs and services offered. Effective programs include:

  • Weekly meetings with professional learning specialists
  • Course advising based on a variety of inputs beyond the syllabus
  • Specialized curriculum or reduced/redistributed course load
  • Skills development and remediation in academic subjects
  • Professional academic coaches and tutors
  • Modified exam arrangements
  • Support/Assistance with note-taking
  • Assistive technology and support
  • Assistance with proofreading
  • Executive function support
  • Alternative forms of textbooks, readers, electronic text readers
  • Assistance with developing oral expression
  • Life skills support
  • Social skills training
  • Training and support in developing goals and maintaining motivation
  • Transitional programs
  • Early intervention programs
  • Secondary support program application to ensure the student is a good fit

Prepare to Visit/Apply Questions

There are many resources available but nothing can replace a well-prepared visit to a potential college. When planning a visit and the follow-up application consider the following:

  • Begin the process early
  • Do your homework; look on the web, request materials to review before you visit so you will have the opportunity to ask your questions face-to-face.
  • As the student, prepare your questions and materials before you arrive for the visit.
  • Take your documentation with you to discuss with the program director.
  • Ask how accommodations are determined and granted at the college and what documentation you will need?
  • Ask to speak with current users of support services and/or their parents
  • Know your facts; ask if they track their LD graduates. If so where do they go? Graduate school, employment?
  • What is the retention rate of LD students?
  • What types of support does the institution offer faculty about accommodating students with special needs?
  • Is support, tutorial, and instruction in the program offered by interns, graduate students, peer tutors or trained professionals?

Follow-up

After your visit, make sure you organize the materials you were given, keep track of cards and contact information.

  • Journal your thoughts, that is a great way to remember your experience
  • Additional questions with the Application, reach out to the contacts you received
  • Apply early
  • Update any outdated documentation so it will be ready for school once enrolled
  • Take advantage of orientation or transitional programs

Resources

Understood | For Learning and Attention Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en

Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transitionguide.html

Contact Information

Amy Osborne, Director
Institute for Learning Differences
Thomas More College
333 Thomas More Parkway
Crestview Hills, KY 41017
(859) 344-3582
ild@thomasmore.edu

* Accommodations in compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are offered to the student at no charge. Please see disability services or contact disability@thomasmore.edu for more information.