Checklist: Questions About Colleges With Special Programs
Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos
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 is a specialized program right for your child? 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 for your child.
Questions to Ask the College
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Must my child be accepted through regular admissions before applying to the program?
Does the program also consider students not accepted through regular admissions?
Is there an additional fee for the program? Does it fit our budget?
What specific documentation of my child’s disability is required?
Will documentation need to be updated each year? If so, at what cost?
How easy is it to personalize the help my child 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 my child’s issues?
Will my child still have access to a departmental advisor in addition to the disability office and learning center staff?
Does my child 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 to Ask Yourself and Your Child
Is my child comfortable with the disabilities services staff?
Would my child benefit from this particular specialized program?