I wanted to give a few updates before the fall semester starts, and some reminders to students and parents.
In-College Support Work
During this past year there were more than a few students I worked with who did very well. In some cases they successfully transitioned to college with a disability, and one even made the Dean’s list a difficult ivy-grade college. There were a few students who made it off of academic probation, and two have now been accepted to study abroad programs at their school (for Japan and Dubai). I also had two students who faced setbacks because of treatment issues, and hopefully they will be able to resume their college studies soon. The college students that really wanted to succeed benefited from the work with me during this past year, and I look forward to getting re-started with them in the fall.
High School Work/Students
I have a number of high school students that I’m working with for both regular college planning and planning for students with a disability. There are many other factors that need to be considered for students with disabilities when looking toward college, and I specialize in that type of planning. There are also some small colleges that I’ve worked with that can be great places for students, especially if they need accommodations. If you read my post College Planning For Students With Disabilities, you’ll get familiar with a few of the issues that come in to play.
Summer is a key time when students want to transfer from one college to another. However, that puts them on a tight timeframe for fall. Some colleges have very concrete deadlines, often in April, and students miss that deadline because it’s during the busy spring semester. Other colleges have rolling deadlines, which makes it easier, but still difficult to find the right college and get everything done. I worked with a number of transfer students this summer in terms of identifying colleges, completing applications, and filing for accommodations when necessary.
I do a lot of parent consultation. In some cases it’s part of my consulting with students, but in others it’s with the parents alone to help them with a variety of issues. When I’m working with students, I always consult with their parents about the student’s progress, academic challenges, planning, or other issues. When I consult with parents alone, it’s generally to help them understand what’s going on with their student and to develop a plan. This could pertain to high school students planning for college, or a college student who didn’t do well and isn’t quite ready to take the necessary action. Almost invariably, if the parents get started, the student follows. I think it’s just knowing that a solution is underway is what makes the difference. Once mom or dad make the initial contact with me, the student seems to want to get on board after their situation is explained to me. In most cases, the parent knows that the student is “stuck” but is too resistant to ask for outside help. Parents often find themselves in a bind in this situation, and they want some guidance.
I have a book length project underway on the topic of college planning for students with disabilities. This has been very time consuming, and sometimes hampers my ability to write for the blog. I picked this topic because of the complexity that comes with finding the right college for students with disabilities. I am hoping to release this in both e-book and audio form soon.
Case Studies (aka “True Stories”)
I have a number of case stories, actually about 15 of them, that I plan to write as time permits. These illustrate different scenarios that I’ve come across regarding college and will hopefully help students and parents understand that they’re definitely not alone when trying to solve college problems. These would go in the “True Stories” section of the blog, which was set up for these case studies.
Colleges For This Summer And Fall
The colleges that I’ve worked with this summer and expect to this fall are listed below. In some cases, students were transferring from or to that college, or we were working on applications during the summer. In most cases I speak with the college, sometimes in depth, and I’ve learned a lot about colleges in that way. In some cases I was coordinating transfers or transitions in to that college.
Carlow University (Pittsburgh)
University of Maryland
Westchester University (Pennsylvania)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Illinois
Fairleigh-Dickinson (New Jersey)
Drew University (New Jersey)
St. Andrews (Scotland)
Columbia University (New York)
Marymount Manhattan College (New York)
New York University
For returning students with disabilities in college- make sure that you renew your accommodations for this school year. Renewals are not automatic, and usually you must contact the disability coordinator that you worked with last year to complete the paperwork. Hopefully your documentation remains current to make this as easy as possible.
For freshmen filing for accommodations- hopefully you’ve requested accommodations by now and the school has accepted your documentation. Even if you had an IEP or 504 plan in high school, this isn’t an automatic process. There’s also the second step of professor notifications. In some cases you must do this yourself. Ask the disability coordinator what you must do, if anything, since you can’t use the accommodations until the professors are formally notified. If it’s up to you, and you wait too long, you won’t be able to use them for your first test.
Best wishes to all the students, parents, and colleagues that I’m working with for the Fall of 2011 term. Also best wishes to the readers of collegestrategyblog.com for this coming school year.
Jeffrey Ludovici, M.A., is a national level Higher Education Consultant based in Pittsburgh, PA. He’s worked with students and parents across the U.S. about college issues since 2001, and is a member of CSRDE that focuses on best practices in helping students. He is also a member of NACADA, the national college advising association in the U.S. Please see the program page for services Jeff offers.