Congratulations! You have decided to go to college—excellent decision. A college education can increase your opportunities for success. However, you will find the college learning environment different from that of high school. College is less structured and will require you to use more self-monitoring skills than you needed in high school. There will be no teachers or parents making decisions for you. Be prepared to face an increased level of academic competition and to have less contact with your professors. You will be the person responsible for your actions, your learning, your successes, and your failures as a college student.
Are you a student who has a disability? If this is the case you will be dealing with a new and more complex process of external support than ever before. As reported by McGuire (1991), “Often college-bound students with learning disabilities fail to understand that they will face a different set of demands within a postsecondary setting. They soon become overwhelmed by the amount of assigned material as well as the fast pace of instruction. Many lack the skills and strategies that are necessary for managing and self-monitoring their learning in a variety of contexts.” It is vital that you arm yourself with a well thought-out plan and strategies for success long before that first day of class.
As a student with a disability, it is critical that you understand your disability and how it affects your ability to learn and participate in the college experience. Understanding your rights and, equally important, your responsibilities as a college student with a disability are also critical to your success. The office of disability support services at the college you plan to attend can help you reach these goals. This office can play a key role in your success and will refer you to other areas on campus where support services are available.
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