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Ideas for Helping College-bound Special Ed. StudentsI currently work at a school that...

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 25, 2008 at 9:31 AM via web

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Ideas for Helping College-bound Special Ed. Students

I currently work at a school that is college prep, but all of the students have some form of learning disability. Here is my question: Other than modifying and accomodating per usual means, how else might you prepare SLD, ESE, ESOL, ADD, ADHD, and other differentiated students for such a challenge?

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spotsgal | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 26, 2008 at 4:29 AM (Answer #2)

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When I was teaching at the high school level, I had several students who went on to either a vocational school or the local community college.   The best compliment I ever received was when one came back and told me that he really appreciated what I had taught him.  The student told me that the hands-on portion of his certificate program was easy, but the "bookwork" that went along with it presented problems.  He talked of when I had instructed them over and over in the proper way to review textbook information and take good notes, and this helped the student more than anything else. 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 27, 2008 at 7:02 AM (Answer #3)

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Make the lessons as visual and hands-on as possible.  I find that even students who don't have learning disabilities learn more visually and by actually "doing" than by any other means...I suppose it comes from all the media available to students today.  The more we can make class learning like a video game, the better off we will be.  However, in some cases, students will just have to learn items the old fashioned way--lecture is still the teaching tool of choice in most colleges.

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 27, 2008 at 8:21 PM (Answer #4)

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I teach a high school resource English class.  I spend a lot of time teaching my students how to study.  We take the textbook and break it down into headings, subheadings, captions, and we draw graphic organizers to help them separate the topics and the supporting facts.  The visuals seem to help them.  Many of my students can't read well but if they can draw a "picture" of the information they seem to grasp the facts more quickly.  We also spend time on learning how to find the answers to specific questions by using the index.  I was amazed how many students don't know how to look up key words in the index to find the page the word is referenced on. 

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 29, 2008 at 11:18 AM (Answer #5)

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I teach in the same sort of school. Knowing that college is a lot more independent than high school, I tend to treat my classes like college classes.

I have several severe ADHD students, and many of them work better when they are working on several large projects at once. I make large projects due throughout the semester and allow them to work on one or three projects a day. This allows them some flexibility and is actually more like their workload will be in college.

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sbruskiewicz | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:25 PM (Answer #6)

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I worked closely with a student that had a learning disability in reading, and she went on to college and successfully earned a college degree.  Fortunately, this student had many wonderful teachers from elementary school through high school.  She also had great family support, and her family worked hard to help her succeed.  This student was also willing to work hard and the fact that her family believed in her made an amazing difference.  As an educator, I have learned that believing in a student, besides doing the best that I can by teaching them goes a long way!

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cemorris24 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 5, 2008 at 2:36 PM (Answer #7)

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I am a special education teacher certified in LD. First I would like for all teachers to understand that when a student is labled LD, they actually have an average iq.  There is something in there brain that does not process information the way most peoples may.  Modifications and accomadations are wonderful.  Please make sure in trying to hit each individual students prefered method of learning.  As with all students, some are auditory, some are visual, some are kinesthetic.  Studies have shown that LD students do better when they are placed in CP classes.  Graphic organizers work well to.  A lot of our students have organizational issues, and it makes it hard for them to keep notes.  Providing outlines, organizers, or extra help with notes can help a lot. There are also lots of strategies out there to work with kids on.  Unforunaltly you may have to work more with the students on how to study, how to take notes, etc, but in the end if you hit these points, it should pay off.

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jorja2u | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 30, 2008 at 11:35 AM (Answer #8)

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 Here are my real-life tips:

  1. Find out and use your preferred learning style. For me, I am kinesthetic. I wrote down everything the professors said or put on the board. Then I re-wrote all of my notes. First, I re-wrote them immediately after class to make sure they were understandable. To prepare for a test, I re-wrote my notes two more times. For auditory learners, record the class and play it repeatedly (now it's handy on MP3 players).
  2. Take a lighter class load. It's better to take longer to graduate than to risk failure and class repeats. With the 504 plan/IEP, the usual time limits can be waived. Also, check out non-traditional routes to your college degree. Start at a small community college, then transfer to a four year school after you have had some success. For some, a smaller college or univeristy may be best.
  3. Advocate for yourself! Make sure that the dean/advisor in charge of IEP students and/or 504 plans is aware of your disability(s). I was also able to take tests using an aid such as the manual for statistics, and in a separate location. Occaisonally I would get confused and/or overwhelmed and found that speaking to the professors privately explaining my circumstance (without making excuses) was helpful. Remember,that the disability(s) does NOT mean you get an easier ticket to success! You have to work harder than the neuro-typical!
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drgingerbear | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 19, 2009 at 8:34 AM (Answer #9)

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Ideas for Helping College-bound Special Ed. Students

I currently work at a school that is college prep, but all of the students have some form of learning disability. Here is my question: Other than modifying and accomodating per usual means, how else might you prepare SLD, ESE, ESOL, ADD, ADHD, and other differentiated students for such a challenge?

I teach HS students with similar "disabilities" that are college-bound. I am also the Student Support Team and Section 504 chairperson for my school which specifically addresses the issues you mentioned.

The tips listed above are all excellent, however, one that has not been mentioned is EDUCATION. The PARENTS need to be educated as to the rights of students with disabilities at the college level. Many students and parents are not aware that there is a specific office in ever college or university that handles student support. It is typically called "Office of Student Services" or "Office of Students with Disability Services". Whatever the name, the parents and student needs to make an appointment with the college(s) of interest and speak directly with the individual incharge of that department. These conversations should start taking place beginning the 11th grade year. Formal plans (whether they are SST, 504, or IEP's) are all to be kept and taken to these interviews. Additional testing may be required at the college, but with the proper paperwork and notification, colleges will contine to assist and support students with special needs. After all, most of these students have normal IQ's... it is not knowing the content that is the challenge... it is retriveal and regurgitation that is the challenge.

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM (Answer #10)

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Also familiarize the student with all of the supports the college(s) they are looking at have in place -- there are often writing centers, peer and teacher tutoring, learning centers where they help with study skills, etc. Some schools have libraries equipped with books on tape, books on video, computers with headphones, quiet study rooms and one-person computer "cubbies." I think that a special education student who is aware of what supports they need should take that into account when looking for a college, and take into account what sort of study aids, learning support, and the like are offered. Also, they should take into account class size and types of classes offered. If the school largely consists of lecture style classes in a large auditorium, and the student needs hands-on learning in a more one on one environment, all of these things need to be taken into account. 

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 6, 2009 at 3:26 PM (Answer #11)

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Ideas for Helping College-bound Special Ed. Students

I currently work at a school that is college prep, but all of the students have some form of learning disability. Here is my question: Other than modifying and accomodating per usual means, how else might you prepare SLD, ESE, ESOL, ADD, ADHD, and other differentiated students for such a challenge?

I teach blind/low vision students. I am certified in SPED instruction.

I will suggest that students begin to learn all they can about their strengths and weaknesses in the area of learning styles. Teach students coping strategies that will help them deal with the volume and depth of college level materials.

Teach your students how to decode a text book and content area vocabulary. Start with chapter headings, highlighted words etc...

Record lectures and take notes at the same time. Go home, and listen to the lecture while reviewing the notes you took in class. If needed, add to your notes.

Master the SQ3R reading/scanning technique. Scan Question, Read, Recite and Review. I would have never made it through college if it were not for this technique. I am dyslexic, and reading is very challenging to me.

Teach students that they must begin the process of self-advocacy as there are no IEP meetings in college. Modifications and accommodations exist, but the student has to step-up and get them.  The SPED team at college will not run after a SPED college student.

The key in college level work is access.  Does the student have access to the materials in a form that he or she can understand and use?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM (Answer #12)

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Have your students research colleges as soon as possible. Visiting colleges is also valuable, especially if you can arrange tours to the resource center. If you can get guest speakers who are college students or graduates with various disabilities, that will also help show them it can be done.

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