Types of College Support Systems for Students With Dyslexia

by | Apr 23, 2015 | By The Grade | 0 comments

This post is part of the series, How to Prepare Your Student With Dyslexia for College Success.  Click here to read the entire series from the beginning.

We spent the last few days learning a lot about what our kids can expect in the college years. There will be challenges for our dyslexic students to be sure. One way to minimize those challenges is to choose a college with the right type of support system for your child with dyslexia.

types of college support dyslexia

All colleges are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide accommodations if you have provided documentation of a diagnosed learning disability to the support services office of the school. Accommodations provided are extended time on tests, a quiet room for test-taking, note-takers, or the use of a computer. Some colleges will even provide alternative forms of testing (i.e. oral), use of a calculator, tape recorder, or other assistive technologies.

While all colleges are required to provide a minimum level of support, some colleges provide more. Today we’ll look at the different levels of support that can be found on college campuses.

College Support: Comprehensive Structured Programs

This type of program has the highest level of support.  It usually involves an extra fee and a separate application.

Services that may be included are:

  • staff trained in learning disabilities
  • special orientation programs
  • curriculum modifications
  • assistance with advocacy and accommodations
  • weekly academic monitoring and counseling

Colleges with Comprehensive Structured Programs:

American University

Curry College

University of Arizona

University of Denver

American International College


College Support: Coordinated Services

This type of program provides students with moderate levels of support.  They generally have learning disability specialists that assist students.  In our state of California, all of the state universities have this type of program.

Services that may be included are:

  • learning strategy instruction
  • counseling
  • tutoring (often peer tutoring)
  • assistance with advocacy

For an extensive list of colleges that are dyslexia-friendly, click here.

College Support: Basic Service Programs

This type of program provides the minimum amount of support necessary in order to comply with the law.

Services that may be included are: 

  • extended time
  • quiet room for testing
  • note-takers
  • use of computer

Colleges Specifically for Students With Learning Disabilities

Beacon College

Beacon College is an accredited college in Leesburg, Florida that offers traditional classes and curriculums, but they design each class in a way where dyslexic students learn and excel.  Beacon College offers both Associate’s Degrees and Bachelor’s Degrees.

Landmark College

Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is also an accredited college that offers various Associate Degrees.  Landmark takes the approach of teaching students the skills and strategies necessary for success in college and the workforce.

It is recommended that families visit potential colleges and speak directly to their department of student services to determine exactly which types of support their students can expect to receive.

With the right accommodations, all students, no matter how they learn, can achieve academic scores equivalent to their ability.

Join us here tomorrow when we’ll talk about How to Find the Best College for Your Dyslexic Student


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