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For parents

“Going to College” is an online resource for teens with disabilities to learn about college life and what to do to prepare for it. It’s also a resource for parents to help their son or daughter learn about college and prepare for success.

We know that going to college and leaving home for the first time can be an exciting yet difficult transition for your son or daughter, but it also can be one for you as well. As a parent, you have been instrumental in helping your child receive the resources and supports that he or she needs in high school, so it can be stressful to now start letting your teenager do this on his or her own in college. It also can be a confusing time, as the way your son or daughter receives services changes dramatically from high school to college. There’s no Individualized Education Plan or special education in college, so it’s now the students’ responsibility to get the supports that they need.

What makes “Going to College” so unique?

What’s different about “Going to College” is that you will hear from college students with disabilities. We have found that students are more likely to listen to the advice of other students. These students are truly the experts on going to college with a disability as they have gone through the process that your son or daughter is going through right now. Each section provides valuable information along with additional resources and activities.

How to use “Going to College”

“Going to College” is divided into three sections or modules:

  1. My Place
  2. Campus Life
  3. Planning for College

Each module contains subtopics with information, activities and online resources — or as we like to call them, eSources. Within most subtopics, you will find videos where students who have disabilities talk about their experiences in college. Initial discussion questions have been developed to elicit current student knowledge for each subtopic. We encourage you and your family member to answer the questions, then watch the video or listen to the podcast or audio file.

The activities help students to apply the information presented. Encourage your family member to complete at least one of the activities. Many of these activities provide useful information that can be discussed while planning the IEP, such as a learning-style survey or a worksheet for setting goals.

Finally, the portfolio section provides a way to help keep your son or daughter’s information organized. Some activities are designed to be included in the portfolio that can then be used while visiting colleges and talking with college personnel.

For more information about how to use “Going to College,” review the “Next Steps” listed in the Introduction.

Top 10 reasons for parents to use “Going to College”

  1. Provides information on how to get accommodations in college
  2. Provides practical information and activities for students to learn about themselves and determine a career direction
  3. Provides role models for students to meet via video clips
  4. Provides suggestions for how your son or daughter can become an active participant in his or her IEP
  5. Provides instruction on how to set and keep goals
  6. Provides important information to consider when choosing a college
  7. Provides information for how to find and access campus and community resources
  8. Provides resources for students and family members to use when applying to college
  9. Clarifies the legal differences between high school and college and who is responsible for getting accommodations
  10. Provides students and families with a tool to organize and maintain information gathered for college in a portfolio