If your child used academic support in high school – whether that meant an educational plan (504, IEP), tutoring or regular help at home to break down long-term projects, stay organized, hand in assignments on time, etc. – my answer is almost certainly “yes.” All the good reasons for getting extra help in high school continue (and expand) in a more rigorous college environment.
Granted, not everyone agrees with me. I often hear of students who think they are all set and who don’t want the hassle of an extra appointment to “get help.” As a result, they wait until midterms are returned to realize they are in trouble. At that point, there are frantic visits to the overcrowded academic support center, increased stress and a snowball effect which may keep things from ever getting completely back on track.
Which is why I bring this up now, as juniors are starting to form their lists of schools to visit and seniors are in the process of making their final school choices.
Academic support – that same support that helped them succeed in high school – is what will ensure that they continue on that path in college. Your student needs to understand this and, therefore, he/she needs to choose schools that offer good, easy-to-access support. Believe me, not all schools are alike in this regard!
Check out these sobering statistics from the February 13, 2014 edition of The Hechinger Report:
“And while 94 percent of high school students with learning disabilities get some kind of help, just 17 percent of learning-disabled college students do.”
“Learning-disabled students are far more likely than others to drop out of four-year colleges. Just 34 percent complete a four-year degree within eight years of finishing high school, according to the National Center for Special Education Research—compared to 56 percent of all students nationally who the National Student Clearinghouse reports graduate within six years.”
Here is the full article – it’s worth a read.
Remember, as you and your child are making school lists and visiting campuses, make sure you assess the academic support available. Make this a priority and things are likely to go a lot more smoothly in that first semester.