Students in crowd

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 Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) 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 campuses 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 Registration 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 OSSD and inquire about establishing services and documentation guidelines prior to entering college
  • Begin the registration process early so that your accommodations will be effective when your classes begin

OSSD Information Sessions

  • OSSD Information Sessions are designed to provide general information about the OSSD at West Chester University.  Although you may find the information quite detailed, we will not be able to review your student’s documentation, nor will we be able to commit to any accommodations until your student has been admitted to and enrolled at WCU 
  • Sessions may include more than one family group; therefore, questions of a more personal nature and those relating to a diagnosis should be saved for your student’s one-on-one intake meeting with our director or assistant director
  • Sessions are conducted by our Director and/or Assistant Director and will address topics that include How to Register, Documentation, and Student Support Services.  Session dates for the 2021/2022 academic year will be posted here late May or early June

Scheduling an Appointment 

Prospective applicants interested in learning more about the OSSD at WCU are welcome to review our website and are invited, along with their parents/guardians to attend OSSD Information Sessions by contacting ossd@wcupa.edu.   

Engage in Campus Life

  • Tour the WCU campus prior to starting classes
  • Attend a new student orientation offered by WCU
  • Explore college organizations, activities, and clubs offered to students

List of Resources

Coming soon!

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