The High School to College Transition for Students with

Bridging the Gap:
The High School to College Transition
for Students with Learning Disabilities
Mary Jordan, Ed.D. and Wilson Onu, M.S.
Something about Mary…
• Mommy and Wife
• Doctor of Education
• College & Transition Counselor
– My College Compass, LLC
– Fonder and President
• Onsite Supervisor for School
Counseling Interns, Johns
Hopkins University
• Advocate
• Teacher
• Runner
Let the fun begin!
 Second Semester/Summer (Before 9th gr. schedule becomes final)
 The end goal…High School Graduation and College Acceptance!
 Know Your Disability
 Update and Review IEP, psychoeducational evaluation
 What role does the disability play in
who you are?
Academically? Socially?
 What is needed to a successful
 Self-Advocate
 Schedule a meeting with your new
school counselor
 Learning Styles Inventory
 Strengths and Weaknesses
 Academia
 Four Year Plan
 Transcript Review
 Recalculated GPA
 Extracurricular and Community Service
 College Visits
 Lesson 1: High School Survival Skills
 Lesson 2: Study Skills
 Lesson 3: Writing Skills
Strong Interest Inventory
Career Exploration
Extracurricular and Community Service
Update & Review IEP/Psycho-Educational Evaluation (16yr)
Transcript Review,
 Recalculate GPA
 and portfolio ideas
Myers Briggs Assessment
Semester 1, SAT/ACT Prep
Semester 2, SAT/ACT
College Search and Selection Process
Transcript Review, Recalculate GPA
 Develop a portfolio
 Essay
SAT/ACT/FairTest Requirement
Transcript Review, Recalculate GPA
Apply to College(s)
ACT Engage (Semester One, used to measure
student behavior and psychosocial attributes)
 Student Success (Semester Two)
 Binder
Navigating the Way to Student Success
Lesson 1: Law: 504, ADA, IDEA
Lesson 2: Exploring Self: defining ones disability strengths &
weakness, self assessment assignment
Lesson 3: Advocacy: campus resources and role play
Lesson 4: Packing up! New World! What to take to college. Leaving
Navigating the Way to Student Success
Lesson 5: College Academics and Accommodations
Lesson 6: Study Skills
Lesson 7: Getting and Staying Organized
Lesson 8: Time Management
Lesson 9: Life Skills (social, personal and living)
Lesson 10: Assistive Technology
High School to College
 College Connection
 Student Support Services
 Contact information
 Schedule an appointment to request
 Binder
 Wilson Onu, Lynn University
Something about Wilson…
 Academic Coach, Institute
for Achievement and
Learning, Lynn University
 Doctoral Student,
 Lynn University
 Traveler
 Fiction writer
 NOT a runner 
We will talk about…
 The Great Transition
 Options for the Empowered Learner
 Self Awareness and Self Determination
 Coaching for success
The College Transition
 A significant challenge to every student
 Independence = responsibility
 Support Structure (A Lifeline)
 Mentors, Peer Mentors
 Academic Advisors, Academic Coaches
 Resident Advisors, Directors
 Student Life, Campus Life Coordinators
 Counselors
College Characteristics
 Class size, Faculty/student ratio
 Major/interest
 Pedagogy (Teacher training, professional development)
 Nonacademic and social structures
Different Paths
 Accommodations
Comprehensive Support
 Academic
 Self Advocacy required
 Tutoring
 Modifications
 Usually, extra cost
The Empowered ‘L’earner
 Labelled
 Learning Disability Difference
 Self-Awareness leads to
Empowerment and Self
Self Determination
“A combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs – including
an understanding of one’s own strengths and limitations
and belief in oneself as capable and effective – that enables
individuals to engage in goal-directed, self regulated,
autonomous behavior” (Field et al., 1998)
Self Determination
 To achieve self determination, students must possess:
• Self Awareness
• Ability to Set Goals (Short term and Long term
• Manage Conflict/Problem Solving
• Self Advocacy
Self Determination and Success
 Self Determination is a combination of attitudes and
abilities that lead people to:
• Believe they can control their own destiny
• Set goals for themselves
• Take actions to reach those goals
Self Determination
Access to
Positive Adult
Support to
Manage Social
Actions to
Personal Goals
Changing Perspective
 Purpose precedes perseverance
 Obligation versus Opportunity
 College is NOT the destination
 “I add the value to my college experience”
 The true cost of an education ($/Time)
Tips for Parents
 Discuss strategies to teach son/daughter to be more
independent (start over the summer)
• Student contact academic advisor
• Allow student to choose classes
• Create a routine to help them remember to take
medication (if applicable)
 Discuss the importance of utilizing ADA accommodations
or support services
Tips for Parents
 Discuss Expectations for the coming school year
• Academic and Social
• Contact (who initiates, manage anxiety)
 Set a Summer Schedule prior
• AM and PM schedule
• Practice task completion
 Practice Self Advocacy
• Simulate conflict/crisis resolution
Coaching for Success
 Why advice doesn’t work
 Coaching relies on our ability to influence student’s
attitude toward learning (knowledge and perspective)
 Success: Set – Act – Repeat
Oh Happy Day
Contact Information
Mary Jordan
Wilson Onu
[email protected]
[email protected]
 Field, S., Ed.D, Parker, D., Ph.D, Sawilowsky, Ph.D., & Rolands, L.,
M.A..(August, 2010). Quantifying the Effectiveness if Coaching for College
Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. College of education,
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
 JST Coaching, LLC. ( 2009). Coaching Teens and College Students with AD/HD.
Training through the Edge Foundation.
 Quinn, P., M.D., Ratey, N., Ed.M., MCC & Maitland, T., Ph.D. (2000) Coaching
College Students with AD/HD: issues and answers. Washington, DC:
Advantage Books, Print.
Other Resources
 Barkley, R., Murphy, D. & Fischer, M. (2008). ADHD in Adults: What the
Science Says. New York, NY: Guilford Publications, Print.
 Dendy, C. D., M.A. (2002, February). Five Components of executive Function
and a Bird’s-Eye View of Life with ADD and ADHD; Advice from Young
Survivors. Attention Magazine,
 King, J., Ph.D., M.C.C. (2006,December). How to Become a Critical Consumer
of Neuroscience Research. Paper presented at the annual international
conference for the International Coach Federation, Orlando, FL.

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