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Now that you’re equipped with some great information about going to college, it’s time to put it to use. The following activities are designed for you to do as many times as you’d like.

Look for the portfolio icon Portfolio — it means that activity is a keeper and should be filed in your portfolio.

Discovering college life

  1. Interview a friend, family member or teacher who has gone to college about the differences between high school and college.
    • Find out what was the biggest difference for them. 
    • You can do this over the phone, in person, by e-mail or by instant messaging. Fill in the differences chart [Word document] with the information you learned.
  2. Create a podcast interview between you and a friend or family member about the differences between high school and college. E-mail this file to two of your friends who are considering college and get their reaction to the information. What did you learn?
    • Use a software program like Audacity to create your podcast.
    • Or use a tape recorder or digital recorder to tape the interview.

Faculty expectations

  1. Listen to the podcast on this page of Dr. Miller discussing faculty expectations. Make a list of the expectations that Dr. Miller discussed. Next to each one, write whether it will be easy or difficult to accomplish. If it is difficult, list some ideas to help you accomplish them. If you are having difficulty coming up with ideas, ask your teacher, parent or friends to help you brainstorm.
  2. List four things Jerry does right and four thing that he does wrong in a meeting with his professor, Dr. John Bagel:

    Jerry walks in to the professor’s office a few minutes after their scheduled appointment. “Hi John, sorry I’m late. I do appreciate that you are willing to meet with me.” Jerry looks for his list of questions for Dr. Bagel that he wrote up before the meeting. He opens his notebook and his papers fall on the floor. He then looks in his textbook and finds the folded paper. Then Jerry’s cell phone rings. Jerry apologizes to the professor and looks to see who is calling him. Since it is Jerry’s roommate, he decides to take the quick call. After the phone call, Jerry explains to his professor that he missed class last week and he has heard from his classmates that he missed a pop quiz. Jerry asks Dr. Bagel when he can retake the quiz. Dr. Bagel informs Jerry that he does not let students make up pop quizzes and will have to accept the zero as his quiz grade. Jerry then asks if he missed anything else important that day. Dr. Bagel informs him that all of his lectures are important and should not be missed. Before Jerry leaves, Dr. Bagel tells Jerry that after he gets the missed class notes from a classmate and reads the related chapter, to come back to his office if he has any specific questions about the material, as he’d be happy to clarify the information. Jerry thanks the professor for his help and leaves saying “I am really enjoying your class.”

  3. Portfolio activityE-mail has become a common way to communicate with faculty members outside of class. For this activity, you will need to download the E-mail Etiquette worksheet [Word document]. Review the example of an appropriate e-mail to a college professor. Then, write your own e-mail to a class professor asking the professor for the course text information or to set up an appointment to discuss your exam results or accommodations. Be sure to put the class name and identification number in the subject line. The style for the e-mail should be business like with full sentences, proper grammar and no abbreviations. Always thank the professor for their time, consideration or response. Include your full name in the e-mail with additional contact information as necessary. Keep this e-mail in your portfolio as an example for future communication with professors.

Getting accommodations

  1. Pick a college of interest and research what the documentation requirements are of that school (call, go online, visit the school, etc.). Check your documentation to see if it matches the requirements.
  2. Contact a school of interest and have the school mail you the handbook for students with disabilities.
  3. Inform your parents about the changes in responsibilities in college to get accommodations. Discuss how your role increases and your parents’ roles decreases. They will need to know this information! Talk with your parents about how they can support you in getting accommodations in college.
  4. Complete the scenario below with the following terms:
    • Accommodations
    • Eligible
    • Disability support services coordinator
    • Note taker
    • Disability
    • Professors

    John is a first-year college student and contacted the Disability Support Services Office at his college to register as a student with a . He completed the paperwork and provided the office his medical documentation. The coordinator of the DSS determined that John was for services and talked with John about his accommodation needs. Because of John’s learning disability, the DSS office authorized extended time on tests (time and a half) and a in class.

    John made an appointment with each of his and took a copy of the letter of accommodations. He explained his disability and discussed his accommodation request. Three of John’s instructors agreed to provide the and talked about their preferences in this process. For example, one instructor wanted a reminder a week before the test that John needed extended time. Another instructor agreed to send the test electronically to the DSS office the day before the exam.

    John’s fourth instructor thought that John could digitally record the class lectures, instead of using a note taker. John asked the instructor to contact the to talk further about his accommodation requests. John is off to a great start this semester!

  5. In preparation for your IEP meeting, review the most recent documentation of your disability. How current is it? Does it provide information that can be used in a higher education setting? What do the colleges you are interested in require for documentation?
  6. Portfolio activityPick a college of interest and research the accommodation process [Word document] for that school (call, go online, visit the school, etc.). Record this information in your portfolio.

Sharing your disability

    1. Making Disclosure Decisions [PDF]: Review pages 1-4 of Chapter 3: Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Disclosure in The 411 on Disability Disclosure. Next, print out the Activity on pages 5-6 and answer the questions for scenarios 1-3.
    2. Read pages 1-7 from Chapter 6: Postsecondary Education Disclosure [PDF] … Why, When, What, to Whom and How in The 411 on Disability Disclosure. Then complete the activities on pages 8-9 that provide examples of disclosing disability at college.
    3. Prepare a script in which you introduce yourself, disclose your disability in everyday language and briefly state how your disability affects your learning and what you do to compensate. For example, “My name is Stella and I have attention deficit disorder. I attend to so many things in the classroom that sometimes I miss important information, so I rely on a note taker and a digital recorder to capture all of the information.” Record your script into a digital recorder or your computer. Play it back and list one positive aspect of your script and one way you can improve it. Consider sharing it with your teacher or family members. Do they have any suggestions for improvement?
    4. Get with a partner and role play talking to your professor about your accommodation requests. One of you will be the student and one will be the professor. Then switch roles. After you are done, discuss with your partners what were some of the positives and negative aspects of how you talked with the “professor” about your accommodation requests. How can you improve?
    5. Portfolio activityComplete the Talking to My Professors worksheet [Word document] and place in your portfolio.  On this sheet, you will brainstorm ways you can talk with your professors about your accommodations.

Getting good grades

  1. Pick one strategy that a student discussed in the video or a strategy that was discussed in the content and try it now in high school. Does this strategy work for you? How can you use it when you get to college?
  2. Take the Study Skills Assessment: Discuss your results with your teacher and come up with a plan for improving in the areas where you have difficulty.
  3. List the strategies that may be helpful in college. Next to each strategy note how you will begin learning those strategies for getting good grades.
  4. IM, e-mail or call a friend who is in college and ask them what they do to get good grades in college.
  5. Portfolio activityFollow the steps in the Time Management CyberHunt [Word document]. Click on each of the hyperlinks and either watch the video, listen to the podcast, read the short content or complete the activity. Print out your results and place them in your portfolio.

Exploring technology

  1. Complete the worksheets in “Hey, Can I Try That?” Then discuss the results with your teacher, parent or other individual who can help you with technology.
  2. Invite relevant participants to your IEP meeting such as an assistive technology specialist and/or vocational rehabilitation counselor. Find out if AT should be explored to help you complete difficult tasks.
  3. If you have decided that you want to explore a type of assistive technology, complete the student evaluation form to help you decide if this technology is right for you. Share this information with the person in your school who is helping you consider AT as it may help you find the best technology match for you. Download the student evaluation form (with images [Word document] or without images [PDF]).
  4. Watch the video “Computer Access: In Our Own Words.” Then, conduct a search on the Job Accommodation Network site. Next, click the disability that matches your disability. Scan the description and then select a potential challenge you may have in an educational setting. Read the solutions presented.

Finding resources

  1. Portfolio activityUse the Comparing College Resources worksheet [Word document] to choose three colleges which you are interested in attending. Go to their Web sites and research the services and supports that are available on campus. Use search terms such as student services, academic supports, tutors, etc. Under each college column, indicate whether that college has that resource available for students. Then compare the colleges to see which college offers the best resources for you.
  2. Centers for independent living offer a variety of services for adults with significant disabilities to live within a community. Find a Center for Independent Living near your local community. Click on your state to determine the location of services. Call or write to one center to find out what educational, advocacy and community services are offered.