The College is strongly committed to providing excellent support to students with documented learning disabilities, attention difficulties, and other special needs. An individually structured program has been designed to accommodate our students. Professionals who have earned graduate degrees in the fields of Education, Educational Psychology, Special Education, Counseling, and Reading work to help each student design strategies for academic success.
Accommodation Plans are determined through a review of the documentation provided by the student and the recommendation of the student’s Comprehensive Advisor, who works closely with each individual. The student will have access to our foundational services prior to, during, and after enrollment in our fee-based programs. The following services are provided when appropriate to the needs of the student:
- Individual support from a Comprehensive Advisor who plans and coordinates accommodation of student needs and acts as liaison with other departments of the College. The Comprehensive Advisor mentors the student through graduation with intensive emphasis on the student’s first and second years.
- Weekly one-on-one academic strategy guidance.
- Support for the transition to college-level academics.
- Individualized Accommodation Plan, updated as needed.
- Preferential registration and specialized academic advising for the first three semesters.
- Extended time and separate test-taking location for qualified students.
- Note-takers when appropriate.
- Alternative textbook format, i.e., available computer software, enlarged print, digital textbooks.
- Utilization of the Lindamood-Bell ® approach to learning (this program is fee-based).
- The Mentor Advantage Program’s customized professional tutoring hours are available as requested (this program is fee-based).
- Daytime and Evening check-In: A professional tutor will be on duty to provide organizational and academic support 12.5 hours per day in our Mentor Advantage study area, Monday through Friday, while the College is in session (no evening hours on Friday).
- Peer-Based Tutoring is an all-campus service, not limited to students with learning disabilities.
- Study Groups: Peer-led study groups may be organized for some classes not covered by the Walk-In Tutoring Program. If students need help for a class in a department not listed on the Walk-In Tutor schedule, they contact the Tutor Supervisor. The Tutor Supervisor works with the professor who teaches the class to organize a study group for the class. Study group times and locations will be announced in the class. This is an all-campus service.
The Comprehensive Advisor
Each student who is enrolled in the Learning Center foundational services for students with diagnosed disabilities will have the opportunity to meet with a Comprehensive Advisor on a weekly basis. Many of our students tell us the Comprehensive Advisor relationship is key to making the transition to college life; our first-year students have described the Comprehensive Advisor as an “anchor.”
The Comprehensive Advisor offers to work with students in the following ways:
- Developing academic, organizational, and self-monitoring strategies.
- Discussing priorities and motivational outlook.
- Deciding about accommodations to be used for college classes.
- Self-Advocacy coaching to describe needed accommodations to faculty.
- Advising for academic schedules the first three semesters with preferential registration.
- Connecting to services within our program support system.
- Linking with other campus offices for extra-curricular referral and support.
- Processing the individual’s transition to college and general functioning.
Requirements for Documentation
In order that we may provide for the academic needs of our students and make judgments regarding specialized program placement, students should submit an educational assessment, completed within the last two to three years, to the Director of the Learning Center. Documentation will include the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Woodcock-Johnson Standard Achievement Battery. Alternate achievement assessment will be considered with the approval of the Director of the Learning Center. Both numeric scores and a narrative report, which interpret a perceived or diagnosed learning disability, are required. Additional materials, such as an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), will also be helpful.
Our students are rising adults; therefore, the Learning Center employs a self-advocacy approach to disability disclosure.
The Comprehensive Advisor will give each student a personalized letter for each professor. The letter states the name and contact information of the student’s Comprehensive Advisor and acknowledges the existence of the student’s learning disability.
- The Comprehensive Advisor will coach each student to describe the need for accommodations to faculty.
- The student should share this letter with the professor of the class for which accommodations are being requested.
- The professor may contact the student’s Comprehensive Advisor as a resource in providing effective strategies that may enhance the learning process or to verify the accommodation request.
Each student’s educational evaluation/disability documentation will be kept in a locked file in the Learning Center office. To reiterate, the Learning Center does not notify the student’s professor; the student is responsible for making a specific request to the professor of each class to implement authorized accommodations.
In order to receive testing accommodations, the student must provide the required documentation for the disability in a timely manner to the Learning Center office and must comply with the procedures for accommodations that have been described in the Learning Center Handbook.