Category Archives: college

Podcast: College Admission and Special Ed Students

Education Talk Radio on Blog Talk Radio has an archived show from August, 2013 on how a college in New York and public school districts collaborate on transitioning special education students to college.

COLLEGE ADMISSION & SPECIAL ED STUDENTS 08/01 by educationtalkradiotoo | Education Podcasts.

Facing, and Accepting, the Disability Lion

Many Advisors in college disability resource centers (DRC) we have visited have shared that students with learning disabilities will often not seek services when first entering college because they want to see how they do without any type of support.

Understandable.  You turn 18.  You graduate from high school.  You’ve had an IEP or 504 for years with accommodations to help you get through assignments and tests.  For the past 8 months you have been able to advocate for yourself. You’ve been accepted to your college of choice, you have been oriented to the DRC there.  You feel you are ready to face the lion all by yourself, without any kind of support.

But by the end of your first college semester you find yourself wondering if you can really do this.  Although you are working very hard – staying up late at night, participating in study groups, having some of your new friends help you out – you can’t meet deadlines, your anxiety at test time takes over, and you end up with either very low or failing grades.  You realize you need help.

A blog post in Diverse Issues in Education describes this exact situation and what colleges are doing to ramp up services for students with learning disabilities.

Endowed with a newfound freshman’s hunger for independence, Alix Generous thought she could conquer college without seeking help for the learning disabilities she had dealt with since she was 11.

She was wrong.

In her first year at the College of Charleston, Generous decided against using the school’s assistance programs for students with dyslexia and other disorders, even though she had relied on such help throughout her childhood.

“I was like, ‘Now I’m 18 and can do what I want.’ I definitely had that attitude. But a lot of it also was ignorance,” said Generous, who grew up in Maryland.

“It totally screwed me up,” she said. “In the easiest classes, like Intro to Theater, I got a C.”

Generous finally started accepting extra help, and her grades improved. She later transferred to the University of Vermont, where she is now a junior. She gives talks about her experiences to audiences across the country.

But tens of thousands of other college students keep their learning disabilities a secret.

Now some colleges and universities are focusing more attention on getting reluctant learning-disabled students to disclose their conditions before they run into severe problems in the classroom — and bring down those schools’ increasingly important graduation rates.

Just a quarter of students who received help for their disabilities in high school acknowledge in college that they need the same assistance, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

And while 94 percent of high school students with learning disabilities get some kind of help, just 17 percent of learning-disabled college students do.

Read more here.

Community College Assistive Technology Program Helps Prepare Students for the Future

Hudson Valley Community College in New York has a thriving program to assist students with disabilities with access to the college’s programs and to prepare for the future. This news cast video describes the program:

Read more here.

“Works for Me” – Life After High School Resources

Works for me  is a website that has resources for people with disabilities on employment and post-secondary education.  The section for youth in transition offers videos and information on how to get started on the journey to adulthood. It is specifically designed for Pennsylvania youth, but the information is very useful for youth in high school anywhere who has a disability.

College Offers Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities

Posted in theBismark Tribune, January 19, 2014

After struggling through classes at Bismarck State College, Kaela Surface sought out an alternative type of education at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla., a school specifically geared toward students with learning disabilities.

Surface was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a math learning disability when she was about 4 years old.

….Beacon College has an enrollment of 190 students.

“Seventy-six percent of our students graduate with a BA degree within four years of admission,” Shelly Chandler, vice president of academic affairs at Beacon College, said. “We offer an education specially geared toward students with learning disabilities because we have a student-centered learning model with lots of support services.”

Some learning services offered at Beacon College are learning specialists, life coaches, occupational therapists, mental health counselors, math specialists and peer tutors.

Requirements for admission into Beacon are a regular high school diploma or GED, the ability to do college work as evidenced by IQ and achievement testing and a documented learning disability or ADHD.

Read the entire article here.

Preparing for Post-Secondary Education Accessibility: Looking Beyond Academics

The author of this post highlights areas of accessibility in the post-secondary setting that one might not initially think about.

Going into post-secondary education is a big step for anyone. If you have a disability, it can be a great way to gain some independence.  However, before researching costs or courses, you should be thinking about accessibility.

When it comes to post-secondary education, accessibility involves more than just whether or not you can physically get around the campus.  Along with physical accessibility, you need to look at the accessibility of the school’s services and the accessibility of the surrounding area.

Continue reading this post here.

Scott MacLellan has a series of articles on Transition at the Support for Special Needs Blog.  All of the information is based on his personal experience as a person with a disability.

Student’s acceptance to Clemson goes viral

KCTV5 News, December 20, 2013

CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) –

A video of a Dorman High School student with Down syndrome getting his acceptance letter into Clemson is going viral.

The parents of 20-year-old Rion Holcombe turned on their camera when they got the letter in the mail and uploaded his stunned reaction to YouTube.

“My heart started to jump out of my chest so this is what happened when I got this envelope,” Rion said in an interview on Thursday.

Continue reading here.

The Impact of College on Self-Determination

June, 2013

The Impact of College on Self-Determination is the sixth issue of the Research to Practice in Self-Determination Series. This edition of Research to Practice in Self Determination is a joint product of the Think College Consortium for Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the National Gateway to Self Determination. The issue explores the interdependency between self-determination and postsecondary education and reflects the many impacts each may have on a students’ path in life.

Continue reading the document here.

Doing the Math: How Prepared are College-Bound Students With Disabilities?

This spring 2013 study was conducted by Adam D. King, masters student in the Utah State University Transition Specialist Program.

In the process of moving through secondary grades towards high school graduation, many students with mild disabilities (e.g., specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, emotional disturbance) fall behind their peers without disabilities in math achievement (Powell, Fuchs, & Fuchs, 2013; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Levine, 2006). This gap in math achievement places students with mild disabilities at a disadvantage when it comes to entering postsecondary education. Over half of all students with specific learning disabilities enter higher education (e.g., applied technology colleges, community colleges, universities), but only about one-fourth of them are awarded diplomas (compared to 54% of peers without disabilities).

The gap in math achievement is likely caused by several factors. First, many students are well behind grade level expectations when they are evaluated for special education eligibility. Second, special education teachers themselves are often not specialists in math assessment and instruction. Third, special instruction is often delivered in resource rooms which may reduce opportunities of both teachers and students from interacting in the general education classroom and understanding the high math expectations. Fourth, limitations in funding have eliminated qualified teacher and paraprofessional positions critical to provision of intensive, individualized instruction (Strawser & Miller, 2001).

We wanted to determine the extent to which students with mild disabilities were ready for college math, but by investigating teacher perception rather than test scores. Teacher perceptions are important because they have a powerful influence over what is taught in the classroom and how. We conducted a survey to find out the extent to which resource classroom special education teachers in high schools perceived students with mild disabilities (those who had postsecondary education goals) to be prepared for math at the college level. “College” was defined as either two or four-year post-secondary institutions. We also wanted to find out what resource teachers perceived as barriers to math preparedness and what they suggested as possible solutions.

Continue reading here.

College-Based Transition Program

Siena College in New York has a program for students with disabilities who are in post high school special education programs.

During the 2013 Commencement ceremony, Siena College presented Certificates of Completion to four students with disabilities who have finished the Siena College Transition Program. The Transition Program was developed in partnership with the North Colonie Central School District to help students ages 18-21 move into adulthood. Rather than remaining in high school special education classes, students from North Colonie participated in initiatives that supported their Individualized Education Plans in an age-appropriate setting. Each student had a college mentor who helped with assignments and reinforced appropriate socialization skills.