The Learning Partners program’s goal is to help the student learn to learn; thus the emphasis is on teaching learning strategies more so than content tutoring. Learning Partners is an optional fee-based program available only to students with a documented learning disability and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Learning Partners has helped many students develop self-advocacy, build stronger learning strategies, and develop math, reading, and writing skills that are critical to college success. Learning Partners is most helpful to students who have a high level of internal motivation to succeed in college academics.
No. Accommodations are provided free of charge and are the right of all students who have properly documented, ADA-recognized disabilities. Learning Partners is an optional fee-based program available only to students with a documented learning disability and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
For students who choose to enroll in Learning Partners, program costs will be considered along with tuition when calculating a total financial aid package. Students who wish to apply for financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office at 497-3401 or 1-800-775-0208. Students requiring financial aid to cover program costs are encouraged to complete the program application and enrollment process as soon as possible so that program costs will be included in their financial aid package. Students enrolling in the programs after an initial financial aid letter has been received should contact the Financial Aid Office.
High schools do not automatically forward IEP/ 504 Plans to colleges. Because an IEP and 504 Plan from high school is written based on a law that does not cover colleges, these service plans, while helpful in understanding the impact of disabilities in the classroom, do not in themselves qualify students as having disabilities at Louisburg College. See the ADHD Documentation Guidelines and the LD Documentation Guidelines for further information on what is needed to document a specific disability.
Students can request accommodations by scheduling an intake interview with the Office of Learning Support and Disability Services (OLSDS). The office is located in 111 and 112 Taft and students can come by, call 919-497-3236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Students are asked to submit appropriate documentation of a disability before their intake interview with OLSDS. Failing to bring appropriate documentation will slow the process of determining reasonable accommodations.
Additionally, please note that accommodations must be reviewed each semester. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the director before or at the beginning of each semester to review accommodations and update disclosure release forms, so that they apply to a student’s new set of instructors.
For further information on service eligibility, visit How to Qualify for Disability Services.
Parents may contact OLSDS and request that the director contact students, explain the services of OLSDS, and invite them to make an appointment. However, students are responsible for further pursuing eligibility with OLSDS.
From elementary to high school, parents often play an active role in advocating for their children’s educational needs, and rightly so. However, in college, parents shift from being the primary advocate, to coaching their young adults in becoming independent self-advocates. Primary goals of OLSDS are to support families as they experience this transition and to help students develop the skills they need to effectively advocate for themselves in academic life and beyond.
At the college level, changes in the law require the student to take on the responsibility of self-identifying to OLSDS, submitting proper documentation of a disability, requesting accommodations from the director, discussing accommodations with faculty members, and alerting faculty and/or the director if accommodations are not satisfactory. The small setting and supportive faculty at Louisburg College make it an ideal place for students to transition into roles of greater responsibility.
Students are sometimes hesitant to request needed accommodations in college because they would rather not be singled out – as many were in high school. However, college disability services work very differently than they did in high school, allowing college students an extra measure of privacy and control in using their accommodations.
Consider the following:
First, there is no such thing as “special ed” in college. Each student who is enrolled at Louisburg College met the same set of Admissions standards developed to screen applicants. Each Louisburg College student must complete one of three associate-level curriculums in order to graduate.
Also, disability services in college are very different from exceptional education in K-12 schools because of the different laws that apply to K-12 and college. In K-12 schools, students are seen as children by the law. Teachers are responsible for making changes to the environment and/or curriculum in order to ensure that the student successfully graduates. In college, students are seen as adults by the law, and all of their disability information is kept confidential. A student has to sign a detailed disclosure form to allow any information about his or her learning needs to be released. Additionally, any faculty members informed of accommodation needs are also required by law to keep this information confidential. A student can discuss with each professor a mutually agreeable way to handle accommodations, such as extended time, without bringing attention to them in class.
Finally, most professors are glad to work with students who are making the effort to stop by during office hours to discuss learning differences with them. Professors respect students who are not willing to let anything, including the need for extra testing time, stand in the way of doing their very best in the course. They have learned that these students tend to be hard workers who take their courses seriously and are just as likely – if not more - to excel as compared to their classmates who have not requested accommodations.
Students can request accommodations at any time during the semester. However, the process of qualifying for accommodations through the Office of Learning Support and Disability Services may take time depending on the quality of documentation submitted and appointment availability. Students are strongly encouraged to register with OLSDS and become eligible for accommodations. The student still has the option throughout the semester to use or not use the accommodations he/she qualifies for. For example, a student with a learning disability may qualify for extended testing time in all classes, but only choose to use it in her math course.