Colleges Eager to Serve Students with Learning Disabilities

All colleges in the US are required to have a disabilities office, but there has been a change in the tide in recent years. As universities compete more vigorously for students, colleges have become more student-centered over the past decade. They are ready, more than ever to meet the varied needs of students. This means services for students with variety of learning differences has increased greatly.

Universities offer a variety of support services which are meant to help accommodate students with different learning needs. Schools arrange services in a variety of ways. Some students need more of a supportive structure in place in order for them to feel comfortable, while other student may need daily support and more rigorous interventions.

Some universities offer the lightest of services, and some go above and beyond what's required of them when it comes to supporting students with learning disabilities. These school offer an array of supportive programs, often operated by learning specialists who are trained in working with students who have different learning needs including those who have dyslexia, ADHD, and Autism.

How do you know if a college has a good program?

When seeking a college that serves students with a learning differences, the programs should be clear and obvious on the college web page. The admissions staff should know and understand the program. The building or center that serves students with learning differences should be places in an open or visible place on campus that students can get to easily, not hidden or placed in an insignificant, hard-to-get-to wing. If the program is important to the college, it should be evident when you visit.

What types of services are available in college programs that serve student with learning differences?

Examples of supportive services, programs, and procedures include:

  • Weekly meetings with a counselor

  • Reduced course load

  • Extra tutoring support

  • Special curriculums

  • On-campus learning specialists

  • Individual meetings with educators

  • Transitional summer programs

  • Specialty workshops on transition skills and self-advocacy

Not all of the schools will be appropriate for all students with learning disabilities. Some offer very high levels of structure and support, whereas others offer regular check-ins to make sure the student is on track. It may be helpful to think about how much support is ideal for the student before beginning the college search.

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