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Preparing Students for College

Friday, October 11, 2013

Watch Jared on The Hampton Roads Show!

Congratulations!
You have successfully navigated your way through high school as a student with a learning difference. Your next mission: college! We all know that college is very different from high school, and this includes obtaining and utilizing services to help you achieve success.

All successful journeys begin with the right directions, or “map” When embarking on your college journey it is essential to have a current psycho- educational assessment. This will serve as your “map” to help you obtain services. Be forewarned! These assessments are not Individualized Education Plans or “IEP’s.  Psycho-educational testing are administered by a school psychologist, a clinical psychologist, or a neuropsychologist. It may also be administered by a trainee in any of these fields under the supervision of a licensed school psychologist, clinical psychologist, or neuropsychologist. These assessments should be no more than 3 years old at the time you are applying to college. Speaking of applying, it is important that you apply with your psycho- educational assessment, it will allow the college that you are applying to develop a true understanding of your potential. 

It is only after you are formally accepted that the real work begins.. All colleges have a student disability center, it is up to you to seek out the disability center, submit your documentation and inquire about services that are offered and tell of any services that had worked for you in high school that you would like to see continue in college. Because of the Americans with Disability Act, every college is required to offer basic services to students with learning differences. That being said, each college is different in the extent of services it provides; so it is really important to compare what college offers what services before making your final decision on which college to attend.

Now it is up to you! Unlike High School, there will be no one to check on you that you are using the services provided; rather it is entirely up to you. Make sure you communicate with your professors so that they are aware of the services that you are entitled to, schedule only one class that you know will be a particular challenge only once a semester. Proper scheduling is really important, and something you have control of. If morning classes aren’t your thing schedule afternoon or evening; some class sections are larger than others- so if being in a smaller class would help then make sure to be aware of that when creating your class schedule. Lastly, take advantage of services that are provided to all students such as writing and math  centers where student tutors can help you with assignments.