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College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities: Application, Search and Admission Considerations Patty Rust Kovacs, MA, LPC College Counselor.

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Presentation on theme: "College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities: Application, Search and Admission Considerations Patty Rust Kovacs, MA, LPC College Counselor."— Presentation transcript:

1 College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities: Application, Search and Admission Considerations Patty Rust Kovacs, MA, LPC College Counselor University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

2 Keep College Options Open Take the appropriate high school classes Perform to best potential Labs graduation minimum requirements fulfill minimum admission requirements at most college Keep those extracurriculars going!

3 Readiness for Self-Advocacy: This is Key! Practice it now. Avoid Learned Helplessness Know your disability WELL Know how to describe and articulate the effects of the disability on learning The Functional Limitations… Created by the LD… …And its impact on the major life task of learning In classroom At home Know how to describe the strengths and weaknesses in learning style

4 Some Guiding Questions How would you describe your own learning disability to someone who does not understand LDs? When was your disability diagnosed? What special assistance have you received in high school? How does this help you learn better or to demonstrate what you really know on tests? What special tricks have you learned that helps you learn or study better

5 Give Yourself a Rating for… Using a Five Point Scale Reading Writing Spelling Math Taking Notes Taking Tests Memory Concentration/ Paying Attention in Class when studying Time Management Motivation Study Habits

6 College Admission Testing Is there a Documented Disability? Do they use the accommodations at school for in-class testing or tasks? Then they may be eligible for non-standard test administration At National Test Centers At a School-based Administration Additional application required The testing company reviews and approves the non- standard request… …Not the school counselors or LD staff Flagging of test scores is a thing of the past However, ACT stickers –not the scores– note arranged under testing date window for school based tests Private school now risk being under review if too many students request special testing

7 College Board SSD Application One app fits all! SAT Subject Tests PSAT AP Complete the application by the end of freshman year for sophomore PSAT tests Once approved, the student will be eligible for all tests while in high school as long as student remains eligible for accommodations at Lab Change of accommodations can be requested in special circumstances School-based SAT administration of tests Only a 4-day test window beginning with the first day (Saturday) of the national test dates

8 ACT SSD Application Apply for accommodations well before first test date Deadlines for the first SSD applications different from regular registration deadlines Aim to have initial request in 8 weeks prior to test date Plan (time and documentation) for possible/probable appeal

9 Center vs. School Testing Center Standard or 50% extra time Large block print and answer sheet School More than 50% time Special assistive technology Computer for essay

10 What About Appeals? Some students denied accommodations by College Board or ACT Why? Average Person Standard in ADA Fairness Cost Parents may appeal decision Testimonial on letterhead from school Teachers classroom observations Comments that accommodations are justified and used Copy of School Formal Accommodations Plan Support from original evaluator Support from private tutor Parents Statement about impact of LD as seen at home Lab Learning Consultant will mail all supporting documents together once compiled by the parent

11 SSD Testing Websites ndex/html

12 Looking for Colleges with an LD? Through which lens? Is it looking for Fit? Person Place: size, location, ambiance, etc. Price Program Is it looking at Getting In? Is it looking at Succeeding At? Is it looking at LD Services and Programs?

13 LD Programs vs. LD Services Fee for service Trained and certified staff Requires often a separate application Documentation may be required Scheduled meeting times with LD service staff Coordination of scheduling Schedule advisement No fee Possibility of trained staff No separate application Documentation may be required Student responsible for coordination Tutors are often peers

14 The College Visit Visit both Admissions and Special Services Bring along the documentation, but only if you want Bring a list of questions Ask to meet with other students Is a Summer Transition or Study Skill program… Available? Recommended? Required?

15 Good Questions to Ask on the College Visit How many LD students are there? What are the majors and fields? What are the typical accommodations received? How is confidentiality protected? Who will actually get to see my documentation? What kind of training do the staff members have? What academic and personal characteristics have helped LD students succeed a this college? How many LD students have graduated within the last five years?

16 Myths in the College Process The college has to provide the same accommodations The college has to give me the same accommodations that I receive now An LD will keep you out of getting into a college… …So hide the fact that you even have one in the college application Colleges will/can/must waive graduation requirements based on an LD That everything about protocols, procedures, and accommodations is consistent From college to college From high school to high school

17 Additional Resource The K & W Guide to College for the Learning Disabled, by Mary Beth Kravets and Imy Wax

18 Special Thanks To Melanie Coffman, College Consultant at Adlai Stevenson High School Ms. Coffman was my original partner in developing many aspects of this PowerPoint presentation The Academy for College Admission Counseling It was as part of the faculty for this counselor training summer program that the original PowerPoint was developed

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