The "On My Mind" student-written series is authored by Senior Alix as part of an in-house marketing internship through the High School Bridges class. Check back regularly for new posts, including coverage of the Washington, D.C. experiential, which begins Sunday, March 31.
On Tuesday, March 5, I visited the College of San Mateo campus for a presentation from the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC is a college office where a student may apply for any necessary accommodations one might need to succeed at this educational level. Different institutions may call it different names, such as Learning Support Services, Student Disability Services, or Student Accessibility and Accommodations. Some of these accommodations that you might ask for could include extended time on tests, a separate room to take tests, audiobooks, notetakers, tutoring sessions, and more. One cool technology device they showed us was an echo smart pen from Dragon Naturally Speaking that can record everything that you hear in the classroom, and even help with note taking!
Requesting accommodations in college is different from how you receive them in high school, where the school identifies the needs of the student. In college, on the other hand, they expect the student to identify their own special needs. Yes, the students themselves are responsible for requesting their own accommodations. To request these special arrangements at a college, you should meet with the Head of the DRC, or an accommodations counselor that works within the department, to personally discuss any assistance that you might need in college. If you are looking into requesting housing accommodations, the housing office must have the DRC pre-approve your request. To increase the chances of any college accommodations being approved, you should bring your IEP or Psych-Ed Evaluation that lists the recommended accommodations for you. In short, getting the help you need to achieve success in college takes time and effort, but many people are available to help you along the way!