IACAC Conference 2011 Transition to College for High School Students with Disabilities: What You Need to Know to Help Students and Parents Successfully Navigate the Transition Karen L. Wold, M.S.Ed. Susann J. Sears, M.Ed. Learning Disabilities Specialist Disability Specialist 217-333-8705 217-333-4602 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com University of Illinois Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) 1207 S. Oak St. Champaign, IL 61820 217-333-0248 (fax) Session Agenda ► Differences between high school and college for students with disabilities ► Ways to help students in high school prepare for college ► How to access disability-related services at the college level ► Specific transition considerations for students with different types of disabilities ► Questions, comments Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Students are identified High School: districts by their schoolStudents are by their school districts. their school High School: Students are identified byidentified by districts. their Students are identified Hy their School: school districts. College: Students must self-identify Students must self-identify self-identify by College: Students must by •College: Services officewith the Disabilityregistering with the Disability registering Services s. by registering with the Disability office Services office College: Students must self-identify by registering with the Disability Services office Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Information is shared with parents or guardians • College: Student’s right to privacy and confidentiality is upheld Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: The role of disability accommodations may better guarantee success • College: The role of disability accommodations provide an equal opportunity to either succeed or fail Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Students are provided with the accommodations they need based on what is discussed between their parents/guardians and the school staff (e.g. – arrangements that are made during an IEP meeting) • College: Students must seek out disability services and be able to state what accommodations they need and why they are necessary Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Time spent on homework and studying in high school can be brief • College: Time spent on homework is usually 2 hours for every hour spent in class (or more) Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Preparing for exams usually involves memorization and identification of information • College: Preparing for exams will involve application of information Differences between High School and College for Students with Disabilities • High School: Instructors clarify and remind students of exam dates and assignment deadlines • College: Students are expected to know exam dates and assignment deadlines by referring to their course syllabi, and are responsible for initiating any requests for clarification Legal Differences ► Laws governing services for students with disabilities are different in college than they were in elementary school and high school “Child find” under IDEA, 504 and ADA require student to self-disclose 504 and the ADA ensure ACCESS not SUCCESS (IDEA focuses on success) 504 and the ADA require access to existing resources 504 and the ADA do not require support which is not otherwise provided to other students Student Rights ► Equal access to courses, programs, services, activities and facilities ► Equal opportunity to learn ► Access to reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments/modifications and auxiliary aids & services ► Appropriate confidentiality Student Responsibilities ► Meet qualifications (for admission, etc.) ► Maintain essential institutional standards ► Disclose the fact that he/she has a disability requiring accommodation ► Provide necessary documentation, including a specific diagnosis of disability ► Request accommodations by following college/university procedures Institutional Rights ► Establish and maintain standards for programs, courses, services, activities and facilities, and to evaluate students on this basis ► Request and receive necessary documentation that links the functional effects of the disability to the requested accommodations. ► Deny requests for accommodation when there is inadequate validating documentation ► Deny requests that constitute an undue hardship or a fundamental alteration of a program or service Institutional Responsibiities ► Provide information in a timely and accurate manner and in accessible formats ► Ensure that programs when viewed in their entirety are available and usable in the most integrated and appropriate settings ► Evaluate students on their abilities, not disabilities ► Provide necessary, effective academic adjustments and auxiliary aids for any KNOWN disability ► Maintain appropriate confidentiality Practical differences High School College School day is structured School day is unstructured – student is responsible for managing his/her time School provides assessment of Student is responsible for disability identifying themselves and providing documentation of the disability Eligibility for services is determined Eligibility for services is determined by disability diagnosis by the severity of the impact of the disability on a major life activity (learning, speaking, walking, concentrating) Practical differences (cont.) High School College Parents and/or high school special Student informs professors of their education teachers or 504 needs (usually by means of a letter coordinators inform teachers of from Disability Services) student’s needs Modified curriculum (e.g., student No modified curriculum – consider completes 10 math problems instead alternatives such as reduced course of 20) load Waive course requirements (e.g., No waiver of course requirements foreign language) Many institutions offer substitutions of course requirements Parents and/or high school special Students need to speak to their education teachers can speak with professors about grades. Professors regular ed teachers about student’s will not tell a student’s grades to grades and progress Disability Services staff or parents. Ways to Help Students in High School Prepare for College ► Educate the student about his/her strengths as well as weaknesses or areas of disability. ► Provide opportunities for the student to effectively self-advocate by being able to explain his/her accommodation needs to teachers and others. ► If accommodation needs are being taken care of by parents and teachers, begin to consider other options, including assistive technology (spell check, alarms on cell phone for reminders, etc.) ► Student should take a college preparatory curriculum, which includes foreign language. Ways to Help (cont.) ► Student should be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity ► Student should take advantage of mentorship, internship or other work experiences ► Review the requirements for admission into the college(s) that the student is interested in with the student. ► Review the documentation requirements and procedures to apply for disability services at the college(s) the student is interested in with the student. ► Look at the college as a whole to ensure the best fit for the student (not just at disability services). Types of Higher Education Institutions ► Junior or Community College ► Technical/Vocational Schools ► College (4 year) ► University Technical/Vocational Schools ► Emphasize preparation for specific careers ► Some schools specialize in only one area, while others provide a wide variety of programs ► Award diplomas, certificates, licenses, and sometimes associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees ► Students may or may not be able to transfer credits to traditional academic degree programs College (4 Year) ►A four-year college grants bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science) ► Some colleges also award Master’s Degrees, and some also offer a two year Associate’s Degrees University ►A school that offers both undergraduate and graduate studies, and it may be made up of several colleges ► One of the major differences between a College and a University is that a University usually has graduate degrees (master’s and doctoral) and research programs College vs. University? University Pros Cons • Wide variety of majors and courses • Large class sizes • Well-stocked libraries • Many courses taught by teaching assistants, not professors • Variety of housing opportunities • Professors focused on their own • Well-funded sports programs research and graduate thesis projects— • Wide range of academic and social little student-teacher interaction opportunities • Pressure on students to take initiative; • Distinguished or famous faculty to be go-getters • More rules and procedures related to enrolling in and designing course study—red tape • Potential of getting lost in crowd www.collegeboard.com College vs. University? Community or 4-Year College Pros Cons • Small class sizes • Limited housing options • Hands-on learning opportunities • Fewer majors to choose from • Individually-designed majors • Fewer physical resources • Strong advising system; advisors know students very well • Smaller libraries • Strong sense of community • Fewer entertainment and social • Professors, not graduate students, opportunities teach most courses • Less emphasis on sports • Opportunity to get to know programs professors well www.collegeboard.com What is the Right Fit For You? Talk with people who know you best and who have graduated from a college or university (e.g., parents, siblings, teachers). Meet with your guidance counselor to help you explore options and review college/university information online. Attend college and university fairs at your high school or in the community. Visit the college and university campuses you are most interested in or take a virtual tour on their Web sites if you aren’t able to visit all of your choices. Contact the admissions office of the college or university you are interested in attending. Talk to students with disabilities who are currently enrolled in a college or university. www.going-to-college.org Which College? ► College Matching Wizard https://studentaid2.ed.gov/gotocollege/collegefinder/wizard_intro1.as Narrows down by criteria you decide: ► Type ► Location ► Setting ► Size ► Academics ► Cost ► Campus Life ► Student Body Comparing General College Resources • Contrast and compare college resources: ► www.going-to-college.org/planning/activities.html Activity #5 under “Choosing a College” section • Contrast and compare college resources: ► www.going-to-college.org/portfolio/campuslife.html Under “Finding Resources” section FYI: Disability Services at different institutions will vary greatly, so do your research on a school before you apply. Determining a Degree Program • What interests you? What can you see yourself doing as a career? ► Several online resources to help you: Discover Your Perfect Career Quiz ► http://resources.monster.com/tools/quizzes/perfectcareer/ Explore careers ► http://www.bls.gov/k12/ Career Values Test ► http://www.stewartcoopercoon.com/jobsearch/freejobsearchtests.phtml#cvt Occupational Outlook Handbook ► http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm College Admissions ► Commonly asked questions about the admissions process: What role does my student’s disability play in their likelihood of being admitted to a post-secondary institution? Students with disability are admitted no differently than students without disabilities; held to same admission standards When should my student disclose disability information? Can not be required to disclose disability status during admissions process; may choose to do so if feel this information is necessary to explain portions of your academic record (e.g. missing foreign language classes, change in grades due to diagnosis and subsequent disability-related services) College Admissions Cont… My student would prefer to disclose information about their disability, what should they tell an admissions committee? Type of services received, strengths, academic interests, other information necessary for admissions committee to understand your academic record and/or unique high school experience Does the admissions committee need my disability documentation paperwork? Specific disability documentation (e.g., psychological assessment report, IEP, 504 plan) should not be sent to an admissions committee. This information can be sent to the disability services office at the institution of choice, once the student has accepted an offer to attend. College Application Preparation ► Visit www.going-to-college.org/planning/applying.html for more tips, thoughts and suggestions on applying to college. Before you get started, think about how you would answer the following questions: ► What is the best way for you to manage multiple deadlines? ► What resources are available in your high school to help you write an impressive personal essay for your college application? ► What are some advantages and disadvantages of disclosing your disability in your college essay? Think about using an optional essay to do this and explain any discrepancies. ► ACT/SAT Find out if a standardized test is required; if so, does the college prefer the SAT or ACT. In appropriate situations, students can receive testing accommodations for both types of exams: ► ACT - www.act.org/aap/disab/chart.html ► SAT - http://sat.collegeboard.com/register/for-students-with-disabilities Financial Planning ► What is financial aid? Financial aid is monetary assistance that allows individuals to pay the costs of attending college when their own resources are not enough. There are four types of financial aid (Heath Resource Center, 2007): ► Grants – Aid that generally does not have to be repaid. ► Loans – Money borrowed to cover school costs, which must be repaid, usually with interest, over a specified period of time, typically after the student has graduated or left school. ► Work-study – Employment that enables a student to earn money toward a portion of school costs during or between periods of enrollment. These usually on-campus positions are supplemented by the federal government. ► Scholarships – Gifts and awards based on a student’s academic achievement, background or other criteria. www.going-to-college.org/planning/aid.html Financial Planning ► Online resources: Financial Aid Easy Planner – determines cost, see if you’re saving enough, search for scholarships, apply for aid and more! ► http://apps.collegeboard.com/fincalc/ep/wizard-home.jsp Financial Aid Planning Calendar for your senior year: ► http://www.vaview.vt.edu/resources/pdf/9- 12/Financial%20Aid%20Planning%20Calendar.pdf Questions to ask financial aid offices at the colleges of your choice: ► www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/398.html ► www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/231-15-questions-to-ask-your-financial- aid-office Financial Resources ► Fastweb ~ http://www.fastweb.com FastWeb is the nation’s largest source of local national and college- specific scholarships. ► BrokeScholar ~ http://www.brokescholar.com ► College.net ~ http://www.collegenet.com ► Heath Resource Center ~ http://www.heath.gwu.edu Go to the Modules tab at the top and select “Financial Aid” ► Disaboom ~ http://www.disaboom.com/Resources/DisabilityScholarships /Default.aspx How to Access Disability-Related Services at the College Level ► Look at college web site and search for “Disability Services” ► Application process for Disability Services is usually different than, and separate from, the application process for admission to the institution ► Make an appointment to visit staff in the Disability Services office and come with questions (it is best if the student does most, if not all, of the talking!) ► Once a student is registered with Disability Services, he/she needs to follow their procedures to access services. Advanced notice is usually necessary before services and accommodations (e.g., extended time on tests) can be provided. Specific Considerations for Students with Specific Types of Disabilities ► Students with Learning Disabilities – documentation of the disability is a major consideration State of Illinois no longer testing every three years – colleges need recent documentation of disability to substantiate disability and determine accommodation needs ► Students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Psychological Disorders (depression, anxiety, etc.) – medication considerations Consider how medication will be maintained while the student is in college. Can the student get the medication on campus or does he/she need to bring enough while on campus and get refills over breaks? Specific Considerations (cont.) ► Students with Physical Disabilities – health/wellness and disability management is a major consideration Students need to be aware of how to manage their disability and optimize their health in a college environment Students need to be able to explain their disability management needs (feeding, dressing, etc.) to personal care assistants (PCAs or PAs) ► Students with Vision and Hearing Disabilities – access to campus and curriculum is a major consideration Vision – orientation and mobility training to get around the campus, access to printed information (Braille, text to speech software) Hearing – access to auditory information (sign language interpreting in classes, captioning of movies, YouTube videos, etc.) Top Ten Ways to Prepare for the College Transition KNOW (OR BE WILLING TO LEARN) HOW TO: 10. Effectively use assistive technology. 9. Effectively use organizational strategies. 8. Effectively use time management strategies. 7. Effectively use learning strategies and accommodations (esp. in reading). 6. Effectively use test preparation and test-taking strategies. Top Ten Ways (cont.) 5. Effectively understand and describe your learning strengths and weaknesses (including areas of disability). 4. Effectively understand and describe your rights and responsibilities as a student with a disability. 3. Seek help when necessary, including utilizing appropriate disability services. 2. Effectively advocate for yourself and your needs. 1. Take responsibility for your own learning. By putting these steps into practice, your students will be more likely to be successful during their college career! Resources ► Post High School Options http://www.ncld.org/college-aamp-work/post- high-school-options/transitioning-to-college ► Making the Leap to College: What Students with Learning Disabilities Need to Know http://www.ncldtalks.org/content/interview/detail/ 3116/ Wrap-Up ► Questions, comments? ► Thank you for attending today’s presentation!
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