Rachel B. Sobel, Ph.D.
College counselor and educator
Finding the right college for LD students is no different than it is for any other student. The important thing is to find a school that fits well—there’s no one school that’s the perfect fit. LD students must meet admission requirements for the schools to which they’re applying. In many cases, they may exceed the requirements. However, what’s most important is the level and type of support services that are available to them. The level of support that’s required for a student to succeed in college will determine the schools to which applications should be submitted.
The best way for students and parents to get that information is to visit the schools they’re interested in and meet with a member of the Office of Learning Disabilities. In addition to the questions about the college that the admissions officer can answer, a unique set of questions specific to the LD student must be answered as well.
LD Resources offers the following list of questions that will help a student and their parents determine if the support services provided by a college will be adequate to meet the student’s needs.
- Does my son or daughter qualify for a learning support service college program?
- Are there special admission procedures?
- Are there additional fees for the LD support services program?
- Is the learning support services program “specifically” directed toward the LD student? Are there services available to handicapped students and the general student body?
- How many students are enrolled in the program, and what’s the proportion of LD students to the general student population?
- Does the program have faculty and administrative support?
- Who does the academic advising for the LD student? Are the academic advisors (people who help the student select courses) familiar with the goals and procedures of the learning support services program and the general characteristics and needs of the LD student in particular?
- Does the institution have course waivers or substitutions, especially for foreign language and math?
- Are there remedial or developmental courses available?
- Will staff from the counseling center and other campus resources collaborate with staff from the Disabilities Office?
- Is there assistance available for improving social/interpersonal skills? Are there support groups available for LD students?
- What accommodations are available, e.g., note takers, readers, scribes, etc.?
- What kind of tutoring is available for LD students?
- Is there assistance available for time management and organizational skill development?
- What kind of assistive technology is available, e.g., Kurzweil, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Livescribe pens, etc? Who teaches students how to use them?
Rachel B. Sobel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education. She has more than 30 years of experience working with adolescents and their families as a psychotherapist, college counselor and educator. Rachel is the founder of College Possibilities, an educational consulting firm specializing in students with learning disabilities that serves students in the areas of (but not limited to) Philadelphia, the Main Line, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Delaware counties as well as Southern New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.collegepossibilities.com.