Students need a variety of skills to be ready for the many challenges of college: academics, executive functioning, independence, social competence, and self-advocacy. This doesn’t mean that students can’t seek and use supports such as academic coaching or tutoring or help with time management and organization; however, it does mean that they need to be able to get the help from adults other than their parents.
For academics, think beyond reading and ‘rithmetic. Can the student take notes effectively from both lectures and texts? Does the student really know how to study beyond highlighting and re-reading passages? Writing skills may need to be sharpened as this is usually the last academic area to develop for students with learning disabilities.
For executive functioning, it’s important to think about the student’s ability to plan a project, get started, stick with it, and turn it in on time. Independence means a student can wake up for class, schedule appointments, and do laundry among other chores.
Social skills training and sleep-away camps in supervised situations should be considered if the student could be overwhelmed by the drama of a freshman dorm. Finally, we work with all students to ensure that they understand their learning challenges and be able to advocate for themselves.
Remember that students in colleges are now protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that guarantees access, rather than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that allowed modifications to promote student success. The IEP or 504 Plan does NOT follow a student to college!