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Identifying the Desirable Characteristics of a College (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Students with disabilities must also look at other factors. They should investigate the support services offered by candidate colleges, discuss them with college staff (e.g., personnel in the Office of Disability Support Services), and verify that the services advertised by the college will actually be available to the student. For example, is tutoring available? Will extended time be allowed for taking tests? Is someone available to help with taking notes or preparing written work? Will college policies allow extended time to complete a course of study so that fewer classes may be taken over a longer period of time? Furthermore, students with LD must decide whether and to whom to disclose the presence of the disability. To obtain support services, students must self-disclose their disabilities to the Office of Disability Support Services. That office will notify professors of the necessary accommodations. Students are not required to give faculty information about a disability, but to obtain the best course work accommodations, they must be able to explain their needs to instructors. Therefore, students will want to investigate specific classes before they register for them. Some strategies for becoming informed about classes are listed below.

Participate in orientation programs. These programs provide opportunities to become familiar with campus life and to ask questions of continuing students and advisors about classes, faculty, resources, and services.

Don't procrastinate. Do not wait until the last minute to begin gathering information about courses and professors. Most Offices for Disability Support Services will allow students with disabilities to register a few days before other students, but you must be prepared.

Talk to other students. Other students are an excellent source of information about classes and professors.

Audit classes. It is possible to observe a class for a limited period of time to determine whether this is the right class. Students who audit a course are not responsible for exams or assignments.

Check the Internet. Most colleges and universities offer an increasing amount of information, including the course syllabus (outline of the course), objectives, textbook, readings, and assignments.

Meet the professor. Professors schedule office hours to answer questions about the course. Getting the textbooks and reading list ahead of time also allows students an opportunity to get a head start on the course.

For many individuals with LD, the transition to adulthood will be a time of positive self-discovery, but it will take trial and error. Goals and successes can sometimes be elusive, and the hidden nature of LD can pose special challenges. Careful preparation for the transition to college can help.

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