Lots of very bright kids have learning disabilities. Lots of kids with learning disabilities, however, accept the notion that a college degree is not within their reach, because their specific needs will not be accommodated. Nothing could be further from the truth, and here’s why:
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) provides that all public universities and even private ones (if they are receiving any federal dollars at all) must make appropriate provisions for students with special education needs. Specifically, the terms of a students’ IEP (Individual Educational Plan) must transfer from high school to college with the student, and the provisions of that IEP must be implemented until a student is 21 years of age.
There are colleges and universities that have taken this much more seriously than others and they are now publicly reported as the best universities for students with learning disabilities.
Here’s Your List
As you look for the best colleges for learning disabilities, consider the following schools:
Northeastern University – Boston, MA
This school has a really well-developed and equipped program that provides tutorials for students, if they struggle with their regular coursework in any subject field. Individual help is really important for success in college.
Landmark College – Vermont w/ satellites throughout New England, and a few other states
This college was founded specifically to serve students with LD, ADD, and ADHD diagnose, and all professors are trained in special education needs, along with specialists who work with students on an individual basis. The school even has a study abroad program.
American University – Washington, D.C.
A really prestigious school with programs that provide educational software and state-of-the-art technology to LD students. They also offer specialized assistance such as scribes and interpreters.
U. of Arizona- all campuses
This is considered one of the best colleges for LD students. It has the renowned SALT (Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques) program that offers individual tutoring session, online learning activities, lots of technology, and a learning strategist assigned to each students. They also offer workshops in time management and organizational skills.
U. of Iowa – all campuses
The REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) focuses on career development for students with special needs, specifically in the areas of cognitive disabilities. Because of it thrust on real-world careers that fit each individual students, this is seen as one of the most practical programs in the nation.
This is considered a top college-learning disabilities, because it was founded specifically for special needs students – physical, intellectual, and emotional. It is small with small classes and lots of individual assistance.
This university has the BOLD (Building Opportunities for Students with Learning Disabilities) program. Students attend regular classes but receive individual sessions with a support instructor and peer tutoring.
Augsberg College – Minneapolis, MN
This college provides all of the standard accommodations that have been provided for students in their high school IEP’s. In addition, it provides workshops for LD students on time management and organizational skills. The best part? All of this occurs at no additional cost.
This is the first college to be founded to serve only those students with disabilities, and it has been a model for many other college programs. Students in its PAL (Program for Advanced Learning) are mainstreamed into regular classes, but receive support services just as they did in high school
U. of Colorado – Colorado Springs
State-of-the-art technology for students with disabilities is a signature part of this program. The other great thing is that it develops flexible course scheduling, so that special needs kids can get the support they need outside of the classroom.
Of course, there are many other colleges across the country that do provide programming and accommodations for special education students. Fortunately, finding them is relatively easy.