Student Advising Guide
College 101: Students With Disabilities Advising and Course Selection
Self-disclosing to academic advisor:
What is important for him/her to know to better help you put together a manageable schedule?
- More alert, do better in early morning;
- Joints/body aches in early morning;
- Topics regarding a trigger reaction (e.g. seizure, anxiety, post traumatic stress);
- Difficult topics require more time (e.g. math, foreign language);
- Need time to eat and take medication(s) at certain time(s) of the day.
What factors/variables are important in choosing your classes?
- Class format (small group discussion v. large lecture);
- Teaching style;
- Exam format (essay v. multiple choice);
- Amount of reading;
- Number of credit hours (desired or manageable v. advised or required)
Is math an area of difficulty for you?
- Create a schedule that will allow more time for difficult topics—fewer credit hours—for that semester.
- Discuss taking the course(s) in the Summer, through Independent Study & Correspondence, at another school (e.g. community college).
How do you handle a lot of reading?
- Inquire how much reading is required in the courses you will be taking.
- Get texts early and begin reading ahead.
- Ask about books on tape or other means of reading texts.
What foreign language experience have you had? Is it required for your major?
- Identify options & info (e.g. majors or schools w/o language requirement; alternatives to language, such as "area of concentration" or computer skills or culture courses; degree options, B.A. vs. B.S.).
Differences that matter:
M/W/F classes are approximately 1-hour long; T/Th classes are approximately 1 ½-hours long. What difference does that make for you?
- Number days/week of being in-class for continuity, practice, (2 v. 3);
- Amount of time required to pay attention, be seated in class (1 v. 1 ½).
Large classes vs. small classes? Options of how to meet needs:
- Permission from instructor for enrollment in full courses;
- Different course for same requirement;
- Take in Summer, Fall, Spring (be sure course is offered that semester);
- Ability to hear, see, focus, interact;
- Ask about Priority Enrollment as appropriate option.
How many hours do you think that you want to take?
- Rule-of-thumb: 1 hour in class = 3 hours out of class preparation;
- Impact on scholarship, financial aid, Voc Rehab, other;
- Concern of time (years to graduate, cost) v. level of achievement (GPA).
When are you most alert?
- Is there anything that would affect you taking AM classes? PM classes?
How much time are you allowing between classes?
- Amount of time necessary to get to next class (look at the map!)
- Ability to get organized before beginning class, to re-focus;
- Possible time necessary to prepare for class (e.g. read, write lab report, review notes, complete project).
- Desired time to relax, study, eat, take medication(s), etc.
- Instructor style – how do you learn best (lecture, participation, read on own)?
- Test format – explain to the academic advisor or consider how you do on different types of tests (multiple choice, essay, short answer).
- Talk with instructor/department and/or look at a syllabus BEFORE enrolling in a course. Many syllabi are on-line.