To meet the needs of students with learning and thinking differences, colleges offer a range of support services. Some even offer specialized programs, usually at an added cost. But how can you tell if a specialized program will be a good fit? Knowing what questions to ask, and which details to look for, can help you make a good choice. Use this checklist when you’re thinking about college support services.
Questions to ask the college
- Must a student be accepted through regular admissions before applying to the program?
- Does the program also consider students who were not accepted through regular admissions?
- Is there an additional fee for the program?
- What specific documentation of disability is required?
- Will documentation need to be updated each year? If so, at what cost?
- How easy is it to personalize the help a student gets in this program?
- Does the college have general resources like a writing center and tutoring services?
- How different are the specialized services from those offered to all students?
- What does the office of disabilities services offer, apart from the program?
- Does the staff from the disabilities office or learning center facilitate communication with faculty about a student’s challenges?
- Would a student still have access to a departmental advisor in addition to the disability office and learning center staff?
- Does a student have the option of transferring out of this program?
- How do students in the program feel about it? How did the program help them?
Questions for the student and family
- Are you comfortable with the disabilities services staff?
- What kind of benefits would this particular specialized program offer?
About the author
About the author
Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos is a writer and editor for many national publications.
Bob Cunningham, EdM has been part of Understood since its founding. He’s also been the chief administrator for several independent schools and a school leader in general and special education.