Resources For Parents
Preparing Students For College
Students, parents, teachers and counselors may use this list to help them prepare for the college environment.
- Make sure psychological testing is up–to–date. Most colleges and universities require testing no older than three years. Parents need to request a full psychological update at least by the beginning of the student's junior year of high school.
- Obtain all psychological testing records before high school graduation. Some school systems destroy these records upon the student's graduation.
- Consider a vocational assessment as a way to amplify present and future goals.
- Make sure that students have a good knowledge of study skills. It may be helpful to enroll in a study skills course at the college level.
- Consult with the high school to get a good understanding of how much support or special help the student will need to be successful. It is important to determine realistically whether minimal support services or an extensive LD program at the college level will be needed.
- Students may need help to increase their independent living skills.
- Encourage students to get part–time jobs or volunteer positions. These are helpful in improving socialization skills as well as giving students a better understanding of work situations and expectations.
- Make sure students have a good understanding of their specific learning disability. They should be able to articulate their strengths and weaknesses as well as what compensatory techniques and accommodations work best for them.
- Help students understand how their disability is connected to social experiences with peers, families and employers.
- Encourage students to be their own advocates. A good first step is to encourage them to discuss their learning disability and needed accommodations with their high school instructors.
- Learn about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These laws indicate what types of accommodations must be provided and/or allowed at postsecondary institutions.
- Get information on special exam arrangements for the SAT and/or ACT. Options indicate what types of accommodations must be provided and/or allowed at postsecondary institutions.
- Obtain two copies of all college applications (or duplicate the one received). Use the first copy to collect the required information Type that information onto the second copy to be sent.
- Contact the DSS office before applying. Get information on what kinds of services and support is available.
- Visit colleges before making a definite choice. If you are considering attending a college away from your home, look at the communities in which they are located.
- Where indicated, have the student's vision and hearing checked by a qualified professional.
- Encourage students to have their own membership in an LD organization. Newsletters from ACLD, the Orton Dyslexia Society, etc. can help keep students informed about new resources and special programs.
- Encourage students to become proficient in typing and using the computer. The clean type, ease in making revisions and spell check capabilities will enable students to improve the quality of their written work.
- Make sure it is the student's choice to attend college. The most successful LD college student are those who have high motivation and a good understanding of their particular strengths and weaknesses. They understand that it may be harder and take more time to manage college level work. They are committed to spending the extra time on studying and to request and use appropriate accommodations when needed.
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Disability Support Services
Monroe Park Campus
907 Floyd Ave.
Voice/TTY: (804) 828-2253
Fax: (804) 828-1944
Office of Health Career/Education and Special Services for Students
VCU Medical Center Campus
1000 E. Marshall St.
Phone: (804) 828-9782
TTY: (804) 828-4608
Fax: (804) 828-4609