Planning for Transition to College for Students with LD
With the first half of the school year almost complete, I think it's safe to say that everyone (parents, educators, students) is looking forward to some holiday time away from the classroom. But for students who will be finishing high school in the spring, the next few weeks are likely to be filled with paperwork and planning, meetings with guidance counselors, conversations with college admissions personnel, and hours of online research. Whether students plan on attending college, joining the workforce or pursuing a combination of both, now is the time for gathering information, identifying needs, creating a preliminary plan of action (yes, preliminary... it will change many times between now and graduation!) and getting started on a path to greater independence.
In partnership with the 92nd Street Y in New York City, NCLD created a menu of easy-to-use materials that are intended to help teenagers and their families get a head start on the post-high school transition process, including:
- "Looking Back and Planning Ahead: Reflections from an Office of College Disabilities Services"
- "Making the Transition from High School to College for Students with Disabilities: Knowing the Differences"
- NCLD Parent Advocacy Brief, "Transition to College"
- Successful Transition to College for Students with Learning Disabilities:Questions to Consider Along the Way
(Be sure to read the piece called "Making the Transition" written by Colleen Lewis, the Director of Disability Services at Columbia University, it offers a side-by-side look at the ways high schools and colleges differ in terms of services and supports for students with LD.)
More Resources to Help Smooth Your Transition
In addition to these resources, a number of Web sites provide reliable information about students with LD and a wide variety of post-secondary options:
- HEATH Resource Center This Center hosts the Online Clearinghouse for Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities at George Washington University.
- HEATH Guide This Guidance and Career Counselors' Toolkit offers information on advising high school students with disabilities on postsecondary options.
- GreatSchools.net GreatSchools is a Web site full of resources about learning disabilities created by the former Schwablearning.org group. Look for articles such as:
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Here you'll find a listing of resources for young adults transitioning to college.
- College Board This site offers a number of useful and important resources to assist students with disabilities and their families in planning for college, finding colleges that match students' needs and interests in completing the application process. (Also look for specific information about assessment accommodations for SATs and other exams as well as documentation required to substantiate LD.)
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. © 1999-2009 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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