Educational psychologist Jane McClure, who is widely respected for her work with students with learning disabilities, returns this month with more advice on the college application process for students with a learning difference or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Read on for her excellent advice on when and where students should write about a learning difference or disability in their college essays, including guidance on how to effectively write such an essay.
Students with Learning Differences
Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post has an excellent post today from Rachel Masson, director of admissions at Landmark College, a Putney, Vermont, institution that offers integrated approaches for learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Masson provides a simple college readiness test that parents and students can use at home to measure how well students perform in five areas essential to college success. Learn more about this excellent diagnostic tool here.
For students with a learning difference or physical or emotional challenge, making the right match with a college is particularly important. You must ensure that the colleges on your list provide the support and accommodations you require.
But a learning difference or emotional or physical challenge should not be the primary criterion for determining the best fit. First, look for fit in general— for example, curriculum, campus culture, or geography— and then make sure the colleges on your list have the programs that will offer the support you need.
One sign of a school’s resources and commitment to students with learning differences or physical or emotional challenges is how easily information can be found on their website. Such information can usually be found under “student services,” “academic services” or “accessible education.” Look for lists of services and special technologies, such as Kurzweil readers. At each college to which you are considering applying, you should visit the office that oversees assistance, often called the Office for Accessible Education or Office of Disability Services, and any dedicated facilities such as learning centers or handicap-equipped dormitories.
Also check out the books and websites on our Resources page here.