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Making The Transition From High School To College

1.  Start Preparing for College in High School

Sometimes high school students rely on guardians, coaches, counselors, friends, and teachers to effectively function.  Students preparing to go to college should endeavor to be completely self-reliant during the senior year (see “Are You Ready for College?”).  Establish personal habits, time management strategies, and study strategies that will be essential at the college level.  The more self-reliant the student becomes, the easier the transition to college is likely to be. Reasonable accommodations are provided for students with a disability, but at the college level these do not include someone who makes sure that the student turns in work and on time, is attending class, or is monitoring the whereabouts or choices of the student.

2.  Self-Identifying

At college, each student decides whether or not to identify as a student with a disability and/or to use accommodations. Once this Office becomes aware of a student with a disability, we try to contact the student to inform him/her of the policies and procedures for obtaining accommodations. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director and then decide accordingly.

3.  Each Student Makes His/Her Own Decisions

Each student may choose whether or not to self-identify and/or use accommodations at Beloit College.  While guardians may initially inform the Office that the student has a disability and meet with the Director while the dependent is not yet a student, once the student has enrolled the responsibility and decisions are completely the student’s.  Students are encouraged to meet with the Director to determine whether or not it is in the best interest of the student to use accommodations, but the decision remains with the student. Once the student is enrolled, guardians may not obtain any information about the student without the written consent of the student.

4.  Documentation

Students are expected to provide information which substantiates their need for accommodations (see Documentation Guidelines).  Original testing, and evaluations by the appropriate professional are usually the most helpful in determining accommodations, adjustments, or auxiliary aids.  Though many accommodations are "discussed" via email with the student prior to his/her first enrollment, a meeting with the Director is usually required in order to obtain accommodations.

5.  Self-Advocacy

Like all Beloit College students, students with disabilities are expected to take responsibility for their own education.  A component of this expectation is the continuing process of learning how to make decisions and advocate for one’s self, particularly in regards to one’s disability and related accommodations.  Although support and information is provided by the staff of the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services office and other faculty and staff with whom the student consults, the onus is on the student to obtain and use information, use appropriate resources, and follow policies and procedures in a timely manner.

6.  Confidentiality

At college, information on students is considered private (including whether or not the student has a disability, if the student has met with a particular staff member, and academic progress).  Furthermore, various offices are governed by separate confidentiality rules so information is not shared among them (e.g. The Health Center and the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office do not share information or records).  Consequently, this Office does not share information with faculty, parents, other students, or staff unless there is a "need to know",  it is an emergency or the student is determined to be a danger to self or others.   However, this means that the student has additional responsibility to advocate for one’s self, contact someone when they want assistance, and to communicate one’s needs to the appropriate office.

7.  Student Success

The Beloit College small residential community provides an educational environment supportive and challenging for all students. Resources are available to all students through the Writing Center, Career Services, and Dean of Students Office (to name a few).  Students with disabilities who work in conjunction with these offices as well as the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office, demonstrate self-advocacy, and responsibly engage in their learning, find that their Beloit College education is a rewarding and enriching experience.