Advice for Students with Learning Differences
As a college student with a documented learning difference, please consider the following as you plan for the fall semester:
Number of courses: Does your documentation suggest a reduced course load? Be aware that even though you may register for a full course load, you may have the option to reduce the number of classes by withdrawing without a penalty.
Class size: How many students are in that large lecture class you are considering? A smaller class size might be a better option and afford you more access to the instructor.
Class format: Do you prefer a lecture-style class or a smaller discussion format?
Foreign Language Requirement: Wheaton allows students with documented learning disabilities to fulfill the foreign language requirement with course substitutions. Students must provide documentation that specifically substantiates the need for a foreign language substitution. We recommend that students register for these courses after the first semester in order to complete the petition process and select appropriate substitute courses.
Preferential seating: Your documentation may recommend that you sit in the front row to decrease distraction.
Reading load: In choosing your courses, consider your reading load and the type of reading required. At the college level, some topics, even familiar ones, can be like learning another language. Try to balance your schedule with “heavy” and “light” reading required courses. Consider reading materials in alternative formats.
Types of evaluation: Consider how grades are assessed in each class: tests, quizzes, papers, lab reports, research requirements, etc. Review your accommodations and determine if the evaluator has recommended alternatives to Scantron or bubble answer sheets.
Types of examinations: Do you have particular difficulty with multiple choice exams? Is an in-class writing assignment difficult because of time constraints or concern about penalties because of grammatical and spelling errors? Review your documentation to address these concerns.
Availability of the instructor: Be sure to utilize faculty office hours, as this an opportunity to work individually with your instructors.
Extracurricular commitments: Will you be participating in extracurriculars? If so, have you factored in practice, rehearsal or meeting times with your academic time requirements?
If you have not already submitted documentation, or have questions about academic accommodations, please contact Denyse Wilhelm, Assistant Dean of Academic Resources and Disability Services and ADA/504 coordinator. She is located in the Filene Center at 508 286-8215.