Facts & Suggestions for Advising Students

by Stacie Lynch-Newberg

The American Council on Education reports that nine percent (or 154,520 students) of all first-time, full-time freshmen enrolled in a postsecondary institution in 1998 reported having at least one type of disability, up from less than 3 percent 20 years earlier. Forty-one percent of these students reported a learning disability.

When advising a student with disabilities, you might want to consider the following:

1. Discuss the student's strengths and weaknesses when formulating his/her academic program.

2. Discuss the number of courses taken each semester.

3. Discuss the difficulty of course load, along with the frequency and length of course meetings.

4. Discuss the instructional technique used in specific classes, if known, and if it matches the student's needs/disability.

5. Encourage the student to prepare for difficult courses in advance.

6. Encourage the student to register in the Disability Support Services program if they have not done so already.