Are You College Ready?
If you are a parent, an autistic student or with another learning disability, who wants to go to college, the first step is to figure out if you are ready for this step! Understanding the demands and challenges you may face in college, and identifying how to prepare and how get the support you may need, is crucial.
We assess students' college readiness skills as part of our Foundational Intake Package. This will lay the groundwork for how we proceed with the college consulting process, and what the student may need to work on while in high school, in order to be successful and thrive in college.
What are the core skill areas needed for college success?
Being able to speak up for yourself, know your rights and get the support you deserve is crucial for college success.
Do you know your rights as a student with a learning disability, autism or ADHD? When you run into difficulty, who do you speak to? Are you comfortable speaking with your teachers about your accommodations?
In order to receive accommodations in college, you will have to register and speak with disabilities services yourself. Your parents can no longer do this for you.
Self advocacy is a skill that can be practiced and learned. We can work on this while you are in high school, to set you up for a smooth college transition.
Succeeding in college requires strong executive function skills. You are expected to keep track of assignments based on a syllabus, figure out when and where to eat your meals, do your own laundry and manage your time effectively.
Do you have a system for scheduling and managing your time? Do you frequently miss or forget assignments? Do you have a strategy for starting and completing tasks that you find overwhelming or boring?
Working on skills time management, task initiation, organization, scheduling, and daily living skills like doing laundry and waking up on time while in high school, will help you greatly once a college Freshman.
Much of college success is dependent on how you connect with others, to help you feel less lonely, get the support you need and feel like a part of a community.
Are you excited to meet and get to know new people? Are there clubs or organizations that you would be excited to explore? Do you feel comfortable communicating effectively with professors? Do you feel comfortable communicating with peers during group projects and/or in social situations?
As in incoming Freshman in college, you will be faced with daily situations where you need to communicate clearly, to get your wants and needs met, and of course to make friends and become part of a community!
In order to achieve your goals, you have to know what they are and they align with your strengths and weaknesses.
If you know that you find it difficult to learn early in the morning, perhaps you avoid classes before 10 am in college. If you find large groups of people overwhelming, perhaps going to small college with smaller class sizes is a good option.
Self awareness is crucial for college success. If you know what you need in order to be successful, what situations are difficult for you, what makes you thrive and grow, you will be able to create a path to success.
Self awareness can be worked on in high school, by becoming familiar with current accommodations and learning support needs, and exploring strengths and weaknesses.
Confidence & Motivation
Knowing why you are in college and being excited about the end result is an important factor in achieving college success.
How do you feel about the prospect of going to college? Is there something you are excited to be studying? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Being motivated to do well and to picture yourself as a successful college graduate will help stay focused to do well.
Having a base of necessary academic skills sets you up for college success.
How demanding are your current high school classes? Do you have trouble keeping up with readings or with writing papers? Do you have a system for studying and learning materials? What accommodations do currently rely on at school?
By carefully examining your accommodations in high school and possibly adjusting them to what may be available in college, you can start adapting to college expectations. Careful consideration of high school course selection is also a good idea, to ensure that you have the courses that colleges require for admission.