“I work with students with learning disabilities at the high school level. Many of them are hoping to attend college but few know what to expect. I am not sure how to help them. Can you provide some information about the transition?”—Timothy, Va.
In Part 1 of our Transition series, Jennifer Lindstrom defined the differences in legislation guaranteeing access to programs in high school and college. In Part 2, Dr. Lindstrom identified the differences in services available to students with learning disabilities at the college level. In this final part of our Transition series, Dr. Lindstrom describes some of the other factors that are important in the transition process.
The transition from high school to college requires changes in many ways of thinking and acting for students with learning disabilities. It demands that students are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and they identify sources of support for their needs. Legislation and disability services offices provide access to higher education but that is very different from guaranteeing success. Students need study, self-advocacy, and technology skills and supports to make the college experience a good one.
Students should understand how they learn and how they process information best, and they must apply this to study situations. Developing and using efficient and effective strategies for taking notes, managing time, reading texts, and taking tests is important. If study skills are weak, students should ask their Disability Service Provider what campus resources are available to them.
In college, students with learning disabilities are responsible for requesting accommodations, speaking to faculty, and seeking out resources for themselves. Therefore, students must be able to understand their learning disability and specifically how it impacts their learning and be able to advocate for themselves in order to be successful in academic pursuits. Students with disabilities who understand their rights and responsibilities are much better equipped to succeed in postsecondary school. Relying on the support of family, friends, and fellow students, including those with disabilities, is also important.
Information and communication technology skills are essential in postsecondary environments. Colleges expect students to be able to use word processing, email, internet, and other programs on a regular basis. By using computing technology for such tasks as reading and writing, communication, and searching the internet, students with learning disabilities are capable of handling a wider range of activities independently. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities in high school by learning to use not only mainstream computer technologies, but assistive technology as well. Special programs and hardware such as speech to text, word prediction, keyboards, pointers, and screen magnifiers can assist students in using computing technology skillfully and in ways that enhance learning.
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- Learning Disabilities and The Law: After High School: An Overview for Students
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- Going to College: Successful Transitions for Students with LD http://www.ncld.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=898
- IDEA parent guide. Chapter 8: Transition planning your child’s future success www.ncld.org/content/view/909/456093/
- Transitioning From High School to College Symposium Co-sponsored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and NCLD www.ncld.org/content/view/1092/389/
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learning disabilities www.ncld.org/images/stories/downloads/parent_center/
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- The documentation disconnect for students with learning disabilities: Improving access to postsecondary disability services. Retrieved September 7, 2007 from http://www.aetonline.org/files/public/NJCLD_Documentation_Disconnect.pdf
To cite this article, please use the following format: Lindstrom, J. (2007, January 10). Expert connection: Transitioning from High School to College. TeachingLD.org. Retrieved from http://TeachingLD.org/expert_connection/transition.html