Specialized Colleges and Programs for Learning Disabled Students

University students
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Most students typically have a hard time adjusting to college life their first semester: with more responsibility, harder subjects, and a new found independence, college can become extremely overwhelming. But for those with a learning disability, college can be a living nightmare. While most schools typically offer some sort of accommodations for disabled students if requested like tutoring or extra time on exams, there are some specific schools that offer unique programs better equipped to help learning disabled students achieve their academic goals.

There are some colleges that even tailor exclusively to learning disabled students. There are several that can be found throughout the country, but we've selected our top four listed below in no particular order.

  • Landmark College, which is located in Putney, Vermont, is a two year accredited college specialized in teaching students with learning disabilities. Originally established in 1985 for students with dyslexia, the school has now branched out to educating students with a broad spectrum of learning disabilities. Some of the accommodations it offers: small classrooms for more undivided attention, assistive technology for those that need it, and note/time management courses to name a few. And unlike typical community colleges or vocational schools, Landmark also offers study abroad programs to Ireland, the Netherlands and Greece. While Landmark can help learning disabled students earn an associate degree or help them prepare to make the switch to a four-year college, it is important to note that this specialized school is one of the most expensive colleges in the country.
  • The University of Connecticut has two specialized programs designed to help learning disabled and autistic students thrive in their studies-Building Opportunities for Students with Learning Disabilities ( B.O.L.D) and Strategic Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (SEAD) respectively. Those in the B.O.L.D program will get weekly guidance from trained professionals on how to "study smarter, not harder" as well as gain access to assistive technologies and a support team to help them adjust and cope with their college experience. SEAD members also get a graduate assistant on a weekly basis to help with social and interpersonal skills as well as teach students how to transition into college with their disabilities. Extra perks may include reduced coursework, educational assistants, and tutors. Students are required to pay an additional semester fee to enroll in the programs- $1,700 per semester for B.O.L.D and $3,200 per semester for SEAD.
  • James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia is home to the Alvin V. Baird Attention and Learning Disabilities Center where professors research the following subjects: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Mood Disorders and Psychological Factors Related to Medical Condition. That said, it really shouldn't come to a surprise that James Madison offers an array of excellent resources to accommodate students with learning disabilities, such as note taking services, untimed tests, talking books, tape recorders, oral tests and a lighter course load offered at no extra costs for those that qualify. Students enrolled in the program will also be taught about self-advocacy, independence, and responsibility.
  • Last but not least is Beacon College, located near Orlando, Florida. Similar to Landmark College, it is a undergraduate school that specializes in teaching students with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, math disabilities, language based learning disabilities, and gifted LD just to name a few. However, this particular accredited institution offers both associate and bachelor degrees. Do note that the programs are limited to only three majors: Liberal Studies, Human Services, and Computer Information Systems. However, the classes are kept small to give individual attention and support to each student.
    Byline:This is a guest post by Jane Smith from background check. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to: janesmth161 @ gmail.com.

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