Understanding College

Going to college is a big step toward independence, and it brings many changes. First, you should know that there a few ways to enter college, either before you leave high school or after you have finished high school. Also, if you are a person with a disability who might need assistance in college, you need to know where you can get the services you need from your chosen college. In either case, you must understand some terms used in college to discuss these options and services.

As you begin to think more seriously about college, you need to understand how different high school is from college. People will have different expectations of you in college. To meet those expectations, you will need to be organized and take responsibility for yourself.

We also want to share information about how different people view college opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. Despite there being a lot of public support for students with disabilities attending college, you should be prepared for some negative responses. You may very well find yourself needing to work with people of differing opinions in order to go to college. You will need to learn to recognize negative attitudes and address them with assertiveness.

 

The Road to College

You've got your diploma and now you're continueing your education - let's get started! First things you need to apply to a college. Have you talked with your high school counselor or College Representative? They'll be able to talk with them about what programs might best suite you, and well as think of scholarships for you. Second you'll need to decide what passions you want to pursue! Some people love being outside, or animals while others want to be in an office setting or advocacy...which are you? Deciding what you're passionate about will help you choose what option is best for you. Since you want a program that will build you into the best version of yourself, and help you achieve those goals! 

College vs. High School

College and High school are very different! While high school is geared toward what is being taught, college is about you and your education. College is where you'll be able to choose classes based on what you want to learn. You'll be moving your life into a more independent direction. While your parents are always there to support you, this can be a great time to explore and grow as a person. College is a great place to learn new ideas and be challenged with what you can do!

Responsibility

As you take this step toward independence, it will come with more personal responsibility. This can a good thing, because it will make you realize what you are capable of accomplishing! You'll be in charge of knowing what's going on in your classes, what skills you're learning in your vocational programs, and where you need to be and when, etc.. These are normal parts of life but take a certain amount of planning and determination. 

Communication

This is an area many students find that they haven't been properly prepared for since college is more fast pace then hgih school. You'll need to have an email account, a computer, and cell phone. In college or a career, these are essentail for keeping up-to-date with projects, schedules, and research. 

Assertiveness

Taking these next steps to progress your life is empowering and thrilling but some people may try to stear you one way or another. While advice from people is welcomed, you are capable of making your own decisions. This is the time where you'll be exploring who you are as well as investing in your passions. Everyday is a new chance to learn more, grow more, and be your own advocate!