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finding the right placement after high school

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Nov 28, 2001 at 8:52:01 PM
Subject: finding the right placement after high school

My child is having great difficulty trying to figure out the right place to go after high school. He is very bright and is definately college bound. He scored 1200 on the sat's. His grades are very low. He is very disorganized and needs someone to help keep him on track. He is also very anxious. Are there transition programs out there that help very bright students? Are there any colleges (2 year or 4 year) that really help a student succeed?

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 29, 2001 3:35:45 PM

At the community college where I work, there are "learning communities" where small groups of students take their classes together and are given lots of support. There's an honors version and a remedial version and I think an "older student" version. From what I've seen they're not just looking good on paper, either.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 29, 2001 4:16:58 PM

Community colleges usually have good support services, but if your son wants to attend a residential college, try looking at Curry College(MA) Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL). Also Marshall Unversity in West Virginia has a highly structured support program for students with LDs. American University (DC), Muskingum College (OH), West Virginia Wesleyan, and Aldelphi (NY) have good reputations for LD support also. There are a number of others also, including some state college programs. However, the very low grades you mention may prevent him from being accepted at most 4 years colleges, despite his excellent SAT scores. He may need to start at a community college, which generally will let any high school graduate enroll. If he proves he can handle the academics there, then he would be able to transfer. Another option, if he is willing and you can afford it, is to attend a "13th year" program at a private boarding school, which are specifically transition year programs for "academic late bloomers." Many prep schools have much individual attention; required, tutored study halls; and help with organizational skills. It would give him a chance to improve his academic skills as well as his transcript and probably get more attention from the guidance counselor on colleges that suit his needs.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 29, 2001 9:19:42 PM

What is the name of this community college? My son really wants to live away from home. He is very disorganized and needs stucture for academics and life skills.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 29, 2001 9:26:40 PM

Can you recommend any grade 13 or transition schools? My son needs structure both academically and with life skills. He has problems getting up on time, in the mornings and remembering to take medication. He is not a low functioning kid. He is very intelligent and high functioning. He is just very disorganized and a bit immature.

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Posted:Nov 30, 2001 11:06:09 AM

The Peterson's Guide has an online version that allows search of private schools. Go to:

www.petersons.com

Click on "private schools". Then click on "search for private schools". Then click on the link for "Schools with a postgraduate year." This is a good starting place. Collect the school literature, talk to admissions office, and visit to get the idea of which schools are successfully serving a population of students with issues similar to your son's. Best wishes.

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Posted:Nov 30, 2001 1:23:18 PM

Thank you for your help.

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Posted:Nov 30, 2001 6:33:30 PM

I always recommend the K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences.

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Posted:Nov 30, 2001 7:10:17 PM

Hi, I'd like to chime in here as my junior in HS has the opposite scenario. He is a high achieving dyslexic student. He has never been able to perform on standardized testing and was assessed as Dyslexic in the 1st grade.Recently, I came across an interesting article about a woman from Massachusetts who in"83 started a grass-roots movement and got legislation for students with learning disabilities that were college-bound so that the College Boards could be waived. This seemed like such a commonsense solution to me. So I've spent the last two weeks talking to everybody from the State Superintendent of Schools in California to a local legislator's office about this idea. Hopefully, it will get written as a bill before the California legislature this year. I've spoken to people in Massachusetts including a woman in the governor's office there whose SAT scores were waived . In fact, she didn't take any SAT's and she got into the three schools that she applied to both public and private. The law in Massachusetts only applies to public colleges and universities. But private schools seem to be following suit. Does anyone know of any other states where they are similar legislation in place? Everything I've read on LD students says that High Stake's testing only tests for their disability that even with accommodations standardized testing is inappropriate for students with learning disabilities. I'm thinking we"re just tests crazy in this state and Dyslexic students are paying the price when they"ve gotten all the way through high school working their tails off and are even in Honors classes (like my son) and then basically get told to "get to the back of the bus' by our public university system because they're dyslexic and can't take standardized tests. When I asked Erica Hoffman at the State Superintendent of Schools office why no one had thought of a law like the one in place in Massachusetts she said simply that no one had thought of it before. And encouraged me to pursue legislation. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

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Anonymous
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Oops, forgot to rename the above post.LL

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Posted:Dec 02, 2001 5:00:28 PM

I had to take the SAT to get into college and the CBEST to get my teaching credential. The accomodations I received on the CBEST were the directions for the test were in written form because I am hearing impaired. Students still have to pass the Writing proficiency test at my college before they can graduate. I know they provide lots of tutoring to get students ready for them, but other than that I don't have anyother suggestions. The only accomodations I ever used were a distraction free environment and extended time, I also used an ALD in my classes, and was allowed to have a note taker but I usually took my own notes and compared with other students to make sure I heard things properly.

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Posted:Dec 02, 2001 6:11:41 PM

There used to be an organization called FAIRTEST based in Cambridge. They used to have a website at www.fairtest. org. They opposed the use of standardized testing. Their site also had a list of those schools who did not require SAT/ACT scores on admissions applications.

Some colleges have long been committed to the idea that SAT scores do not reflect a student's worth and others have slowly been coming on board with the idea. SAT has only been around a short while in our history - it was put into place in the 1950s. The "inventor" of the SATS just before he died said they were the worst thing he had ever done... (for an excellent history of the SATS and their use in our society, read The Big Test)

These tests have long been shown to be discriminatory against certain groups. Women tend to score lower than men and a class action lawsuit resulted in a changing of the test a few years back. The state of California's UC schools were considering abandoning their use as they are felt to discriminate. What happened to that? They were supposed to vote on it in September.

I celebrate the good work you're doing for all our children and hope your efforts outlaw these tests in your state and others. How can we help?

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Posted:Dec 02, 2001 9:04:53 PM

Parkland College in Champaign, IL
http://www.parkland.cc.il.us/

They might even have info on the learning communities on line.

Community colleges, however, usually don't have dorms per se -- though there is "campus housing" here, I think it's just a real estate deal... it isn't as connected with the school as a University dorm would be. (This is also a University town, so there are lots of housing options.) I am pretty sure students are responsible for meals and utilities, though I'm not certain.

The organization skills required for off-campus living would be enough to overwhelm lots of students unless they had that stuff paid for and taken care of in advance (which is a pretty hefty financial venture in itself). Then there are roommate issues (stressful on anybody's social skills, but even more so for our kiddos).

If *I* had organizational skills, I'd buy an old house here and set it up to house three or four students... I'd need a housekeeper too :) ... I've done it with one student I knew well (a friend's daughter) who really needed a quiet place with occasional advice or help with pre Calculus but was a pretty straight-arrow kiddo. She graduated with honors and transferred to SIU (it was a CC in Virginia, though)

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Posted:Dec 02, 2001 10:09:31 PM

Your idea about a private living quarters with a housekeeper is a good one. My son does need a full time housekeeper to keep him organized. It would be nice if he learned how to be a little organized on his own. What is the name of the cc in Virginia. We live in the washington d.c. area. Is the cc in northern virginia?

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Posted:Dec 03, 2001 10:09:45 AM

Well, right now I'm out in Illinois... the CC my friend went to was Germanna, down in Locust Dale (between Fredericksburg and Culpeper if I remember my geography right). I taught and lived in Culpeper so she drove the 15 miles or so.

By the way, I on another list I got a link to a neat article for students about the transition; it's at
http://www.k12.wa.us/specialed/transition/ladders.pdf (it's big and takes a while to download but don't give up ;)).

For my friend it was best for her to work half time and school half time. It meant a lot more of her time was structured -- the work stuff -- so she had to actively schedule when she would block off study time, and she did. SHe *got* a bit more organized that way.

There's also a very good video on college & LD & ADHD by Eaton-Coull (I think there's a descrition of it at the "LD Store"). A good handful of genuine students of all shapes and sizes are interviewed at some length about studying and life and first-semester mistakes.

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Posted:Dec 03, 2001 11:06:32 AM

Thank you for all your suggestions and help.

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Posted:Dec 03, 2001 12:00:06 PM

Sara, thanks for your response. I've talked to the FairTest folks and their website is awesome. It deals (as do most) with how the Standardized Testing business is failing in it's task to measure anything meaningful in the general population. They, of course, agree that this type of testing is even more inappropriate for the learning differences community.
I am hoping to separate out this single issue of High stakes testing as it seems redundant to test high school students after their entire career when accomdations are questionable and they have IEP's, 504's and portfolios to refer to instead. From everything I have read and everything that I know by observing my son's experience the accommodations that learning differences children receive to aren't working. I believe it is imperative if this community of students are to have a fair chance at public schools and universities acceptance that the SAT be waived not just in California but in every state. On Friday, I talked to the office of my local legislator and they are looking at writing a bill similar to the one written in Massachusetts in 1983. After having phone conversations with everyone that I could think of on the topic of waiving the SAT I figured out that the protocol was to go directly to a legislator. So for anyone else looking to do the same thing I would suggest getting a copy of the law in Massachusetts and I can provide a web site for that as I had someone in the law library research exactly the were that law is in their files. This one piece of information seem to be critical for piquing the interest of my legislator. Also, it is very timely in California as a president of the UC's, Richard Atkinson, is in favor of no longer using the SAT but will certainly be using some form of standardized assessment in the future. So there seems to be a little moment of a 'toe in the door' to look at how standardized testing discriminates against the learning differences community. ******As to your question of how can you help.....do you know where I can find out about legislation in any other state besides Massachusetts? ***** Or if you live in California call your local legislator and give them the law for Massachusetts to use for reference.******* Or, does anyone know anyone on the BOAR's committee for the UC's? ****** This is the committee that looks at the issues and offers their opinion to the Regents of how to address the issues such as assessment. ******Or, does anyone know any of the Regents in the university system in California? ( In Massachusetts, the Regents had a hard time with the idea of accepting direction from their legislator. Although I think the testimony from ETS supporting that learning differences students obtain a waiver if they so chose was extremely helpful And in the end did convince them.)
I know I'm going on and on here, but I feel really passionately that this is such a great opportunity to resolve this issue! So if anyone can think of a way to help please let me know! By the way, I have tried to find the people responsible for the grass-roots movement in Massachusetts but have been largely unsuccessful in that effort so if anyone is reading this from Massachusetts and they know anyone who was involved in '83 I would love to have access to that information. I'm sure I could learn a lot at this point from that group of people! Thank YOU! LL

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Posted:Dec 03, 2001 11:54:05 PM

What about the fairtest people? They're based in Massachusetts. They might know the grass roots origin of the anti-testing movement in 1983. How long has Fairtest been around? Perhaps Fairtest itself is the offshoot of that 1983 movement?

Have you read The Big Test: The History of the SAT? You'd find it interesting and possibly helpful to your work. I'll check my copy and see if it discusses the 1983 movement.

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Posted:Dec 04, 2001 10:52:22 AM

Sue

I took a calculus class at Parkland ages ago!!! IT was great--taught by a high school teacher who used social science and education examples as opposed to all those physics ones that I could never fathom. Her teaching got me through graduate statistics!!!

I lived in C-U for years. Got my undergrad and graduate degrees there. Nice town, although it has had major sprawl more recently. My folks live nearby so I still visit.

Beth

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Posted:Dec 04, 2001 2:06:05 PM

I've been talking to the Fair Test group but I didn't think to ask them about that person....They essentially deal with the general population. Yes, I did read THE BIG TEST....I have a similar opinion, I think we have been so test focused that in the process of evolving testing the whole point has been lost somehow. I think that in order to serve the groups that promote and sell the tests and associated ancillary services the dyslexic community has accepted accommodations rather than stepping away from innapropriate testing. In other words there is a significant group of people out there who have 'been led down the garden path' and are now being discriminated against because of inappropriate college board test scores.
I spoke to someone very high up on the admissions ladder yesterday whose attitude was...'Look we know the SAT is going to be changed and we will now have some different tests but accomodations are in place so that problem has been dealt with. And anyhow we are moving towards comprehensive review and we do have admissions by exception. (What the heck is that? It isn't in any published admissions materials that I've come across).....and we are not really hearing any complaints from the learning disabled community on this issue.....' So I'm thinking REALLY?? Hello? Here is one small voice hoping to be heard!LL

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Posted:Dec 06, 2001 4:32:51 PM

... though it seems everywhere I've ever been, I run into somebody who has a C-U connection, which makes sense since it's a University town.
This new "Academic Development" concept has real promise for LD kiddos. They're talking about it mostly in terms of targeting "first-generation" college students... but I think they're crazy if they don't target LD kiddos -- they'd have people bangin' down the doors.

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