All students transitioning from high school to college will find themselves confronting new and sometimes unexpected circumstances. These are likely to include higher workloads, coupled with less time spent in the classroom; significantly less supervision by parents or instructors; and more distractions from friends and extracurricular activities. Living arrangements, sleeping and eating patterns, and study habits are likely to be in flux for some time as students adjust to their new surroundings. Many students find this combination challenging, and struggle with issues of time management and focus. Students with learning disabilities may expect to have these challenges magnified — and at the same time will also find themselves operating in a very different legal and practical arena than they are used to. Students (and their parents) should be aware of the following:
Students and parents who wish to better understand the differences between K-12 IEPs and college accommodations may find this article helpful.
Embedded in the concept of "reasonable accommodation" is the understanding that said accommodations will not eliminate requirements for successful completion of a program, course, or activity, or for adherence to generally acceptable standards of behavior and/or college policies. The college as a whole, as well as individual instructors, are not required to provide accommodations that will significantly alter or diminish the purpose, nature, or educational standards of a program or course.
At the beginning of each semester, students who have made arrangements through the Office of Academic Services can expect their professors to receive a letter from us outlining recommended accommodations. It is each student's responsibility to discuss these accommodations with his or her professors, and determine the ways said accommodations may or may not be practically applied within the constraints of a given course. If the student and the professor do not come to a clear agreement about expectations — or if said agreement is later violated by either party — the Coordinator of Disability Services should be contacted for assistance.
Dr. Don Stabile
Interim Coordinator for Disability Services