Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Heading to College? We've Got Lots of Advice

Now that summer is in full swing, high school graduates heading off to college in the fall should be thinking ahead to what they need to do to make their freshman year -- and their entire college career -- a success. This is even more important for students with learning and other challenges who have had access to accommodations and academic supports in high school. Over the five years we have been writing this blog, we have addressed a number of issues that college students need to think about and act on to ensure their success.

Students taking medication need to think about how they will refill their prescriptions. Incoming freshman also need to make sure they have contacted their college's Office of Disability Services and submitted documentation of their learning or other disability. Having an IEP or 504 Plan in high school is not sufficient for college accommodations; there is no IEP in college!

It is important to discuss the need to stay on top of academic challenges if they occur. Too often, students don't want to face the fact that they are in academic difficulty, or they want to keep the fact that they may be failing one or more courses from their parents. The problem is that once a student fails a course, this becomes part of their academic record and can have consequences such as suspension, dismissal, or even just a lower GPA. 

Students in STEM fields - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics -- who haven't already registered for  fall courses, might want to consider research that indicates that students perform better in courses that involve "active learning". And avoiding courses with frequent tests may not be the best decision, since research has found that frequent testing can actually boost learning in college classes.

There are lots of other resources in our blog posts that college bound students may find useful. Try our search feature (on the right hand side of the page) to look for tips for technology, writing, and organization. We hope you find these helpful!

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