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Prospective Student Info


If you are a high school student or are transferring from another university you may be interested in how you can actively prepare for the transition to college/WCU by clicking on the links below:

General Information for Prospective Students

Students with disabilities entering college need to be prepared for the transition to college, which includes being well informed about changes in their rights and responsibilities as well as the rights and responsibilities afforded by the university. A well informed student will enjoy the benefits of the post secondary education experience without confusion or delay.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact or visit the Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) in their junior or senior year of high school to find out more about disability services at the college level (see Information Sessions below).

There is often a misperception by students entering college and their parents that postsecondary schools have the same responsibilities to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. While there are some similarities, the responsibilities of postsecondary schools are significantly different from those of school districts at the secondary level. Also, the responsibilities of students with disabilities are significantly different as well.

Legislative Differences between High School and College

  • Practice articulating some changes between high school and college
  • Explain how these changes may impact you (e.g., how to disclose your disability; how to get disability-related services; what types of accommodations you may receive)
  • Recognize that privacy laws in college prevent college staff from communicating with parents/guardians about students' disabilities, services and grades without written permission from the student

Prepare for College Admissions

  • Research college admissions requirements early in order to take appropriate college preparation courses in high school
  • Recognize that students applying to college must meet the college’s standard admissions requirements (e.g., SAT scores, language requirements, etc.) regardless of disability
  • If applicable, complete the process to request accommodations for college entrance examinations
  • If desired, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and explore scholarship opportunities when applying for college
  • Connect with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), if appropriate
  • Tour college locations to select the right environment for you (e.g., large student body vs. small/medium, rural environment vs. urban environment, class sizes, climate or temperature)

Build Self-Awareness

  • Practice describing how your disability impacts you
  • Don’t use a disability “label” if that makes you uncomfortable, but be able to talk about your strengths and your needs
  • Be involved in IEP/504 meetings and decisions in high school
  • Ask high school teachers if they can connect you to high school graduates who are currently in college to talk to them and learn from their experiences

Develop Self-Advocacy

  • Practice explaining what academic accommodations you received in high school
  • Describe how you benefit from your academic accommodations
  • Consider establishing connections to medical care, both physical and emotional, local to your college to build support away from home
  • Start using a planner or calendar to organize activities and academics
  • Talk to school staff about learning and reading strategies
  • Practice independent living skills (e.g., waking up independently, managing and budgeting money, preparing meals, managing medication independently, building awareness of college safety issues)

Prepare for Eligibility and Initiate the Disclosure Process Early

  • Start a portfolio of documentation needed to get disability services in college
  • Schedule and complete evaluations to determine college disability services eligibility prior to exiting high school
  • Contact the OEA and inquire about establishing services and documentation guidelines prior to entering college
  • Begin the disclosure process early so that your accommodations will be effective when your classes begin

OEA Information Sessions

Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) Information Sessions are offered via Zoom and are open to students as well as any other interested parties. These one-hour sessions are hosted by either the OEA Director or the OEA Senior Accommodations Specialist and are designed to include multiple students/family members. Please note that because these sessions are open to the public, we are unable to discuss any personal information. 

Please Pre-Register in advance for these meetings. You can do this by selecting the Zoom Link below:  

Here are the dates for our Spring 2024 Information Sessions:

1) Monday, January 29th

2) Monday, February 26th 

3) Monday, March 25th 

4) Monday, April 29th 

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our main office by email:

Scheduling an Appointment 

Prospective applicants interested in learning more about the OEA at WCU are welcome to review our website and are invited, along with their parents/guardians to attend OEA Information Sessions.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ATTEND A SESSION

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