Selecting colleges for students with learning disabilities
While it does require determination and considerable effort, a learning difference should not prevent a student from getting a university degree. Now there are more and more colleges who understand learning differences. They appreciate that students with learning disabilities may have exceptional cognitive capacity. Best colleges for students with learning disabilities will support students in their quest to realize their academic potential. They will understand and provide key supports required. Students with a wide range of special needs, from learning disabilities to ADHD to hearing impairment, can find schools with wonderful programs offering tutoring, counseling, classroom accommodations and special courses designed to make everything less stressful for both students and parents. Overall, the concept is to provide the academic environment that will set the special needs student up for success.
Note that it is important to distinguish between “special needs” colleges with targeted programming for Autism Spectrum Disorder, OCD, or Tourette’s’ Syndrome students, for example, and colleges that support students with learning disabilities. Recently, a dyslexic student was very successful at Princeton when provided supports such as extra time on tests. Most colleges are open to supporting students at this level. This is very different from special needs colleges teaching students with hearing impairment, low vision or Asperger’s which require more comprehensive support programming.
Some schools are not considered special needs colleges, yet their academic program is ideal for students with certain learning differences. For example, colleges with a block schedule or those studying one subject at a time, such as Colorado College, can be great alternatives for students with ADHD who benefit from more focus on fewer topics. So parents seeking ADHD colleges may find good options among schools with more structure, lower student to faculty ratio and simple class schedule.
A list of special needs colleges
It is becoming more common for US universities to design programs for special needs students. The mandate to educate students of all abilities is now widely accepted, creating post-high school opportunities that might never have existed even 10 years ago. Here is a representative group of universities that currently offer comprehensive or specialized programs for students who have special needs. Some schools focus solely on special needs students. Others incorporate specific classes and support programs into everyday coursework. There are many other colleges for students with learning disabilities. If you are a parent or a student looking for a college that is right for you, this list will help you get started.
- • Bellevue Community College, Bellevue, WA
- • University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
- • Daemen College, Amherst, NY
- • University of Denver, Denver, CO
- • DePaul University, Chicago, IL
- • Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
- • Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
- • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
- • Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA
- • Beacon College, Leesburg, FL