Advising High School Students with Learning Disabilities
Increasing numbers of students with learning disabilities are enrolling in two- and four-year colleges and universities. Since 1985, among first-time, full-time freshmen who reported having any disability, the percentage of those with learning disabilities doubled from 15 percent to 32 percent.
Currently nearly a third of all freshmen with disabilities report having learning disabilities. Students with learning disabilities can, and do, have successful undergraduate experiences. High school students with learning disabilities who are considering going to college should be encouraged to pursue this goal.
Students should be aware that colleges and universities are not all alike. Their missions or purposes, entrance criteria, programs of study, and requirements for certifications, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees vary. Similarly, students with learning disabilities are not all alike. Their goals, strengths and weaknesses vary. Also, people change their plans and goals over time. The student who enrolls in a vocational certification program in a two-year community college today may be the student who completes a baccalaureate degree program in a four-year university tomorrow.
Students with learning disabilities, who will choose to continue their formal education beyond high school, need to take a variety of preparatory steps to get ready for college while in high school. In addition, they need to make real choices regarding their goals after high school well before their senior year to maximize their options.
Adapted from HEATH Resource Center, http://www.kidsource.com/heath/index.html.