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Transition Planning Tips

Posted in Effective College Planning by admin on the December 19th, 2010

TRANSITION PLANNING TIPS: REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO SINGLE RIGHT WAY TO TRANSITION. ONE SIZE FITS ALL MEANS THAT IT PROBABLY DOESN’T FIT ANYONE VERY WELL!

  • Begin the college search process early-as soon as 9th or 10th grade.
  • Ask EACH college what they require for their documentation of disability.
  • Students you need to understand your disability(ies) and accept that it is a part of who you are like you hair color and height.
  • Attend college information night for students with disabilities and their parents. Ask questions!
  • Visit college campuses if only to drive around a get a feel for the size and layout of the space.
  • Use the lists in this resource guide to to formulate a list unique to your student and situation.
  • If possible, have your son or daughter shadow a student with a similar disability for a day to learn first hand about the experience.
  • Be realistic about your student’s capabilities-don’t shoot too high or too low.
  • If you student has always been in special education, seriously consider having them start at your local community college until they become familiar with the environment and expectations of college.
  • Give serious consideration to enrolling your student part time.
  • Consider postponing starting college for awhile. Many students exit high school unready and unwilling to commit to college and dig themselves into academic and financial holes that are difficult to overcome.
  • Waving requirements like foreign language or math may have serious ramifications later. Consider challenging you student with these courses, they will meet them in college.

And finally:

Those of us in postsecondary education spend a lot of time complaining that our students lack independence and self-advocacy skills, i.e., the ability to take responsibility for themselves and their disabilities. This is the perfect time in the transition process to begin to develop and demonstrate those skills. We firmly believe that since we are always talking about the student’s future that the student MUST be an active, involved member of the planning process. Students with disabilities often enter college having never had to be responsible for anything having to do with their education. They are suddenly expected to act like adults and make decisions–and live with the consequences! With the start of the high school freshman year the college planning process becomes much more intense. This is the perfect time to have students begin to take some responsibility for the transition process. Assign the student specific tasks that will help him to understand his disability, request information from the college, etc.