ThinkCollege.net For Students

Students with disabilities can use resources on college campuses to discuss accomodations like assistive technology. (Photo courtesy of geneva warbucks on flickr)

Students with disabilities can use resources on college campuses to discuss accomodations like assistive technology. (Photo courtesy of geneva warbucks on flickr)

ThinkCollege.net is an online website dedicated to assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities who want to pursue college options. The site is operated by the Institute for Community Inclusion, which operates out of the University of Massachusetts in Boston.  The focus, according to ICI, is to help people with research, training and technical assistance, and dissemination as it pertains to college.

The website is organized into three tabs at the top of the homepage: For Students, For Families, and For Professionals. Each tab connects individuals to information specifically designed for the role the person plays in higher education.

For Students

There are eleven links under the For Students tab that cover everything from why one would attend college to the laws that are in place for students with disabilities in higher education.

College Search – provides students with access to search for schools by both location and program. An easy-to use map takes you through four steps to find schools that may be of interest to you.

Why Go? – introduces site visitors to numerous students who decided to attend college and what the experience has been like thus far. A video interview from YouTube is posted along with multiple quotes from students.

A Little Background – discusses a brief history of higher education for people with intellectual disabilities and the support they received from the government.

Understanding College – allows students to understand the differences between high school and college and how one should approach the new environment.

Getting Started – outlines seven steps students should take in order to prepare themselves to begin college.

                Before enrolling:        

                        Choose a college

                        Meet with Disability Services

                        Apply to college

            After you enroll:        

                        Self Identify

                        Get familiar with the campus

                        Register for classes

                        Attend class

Working with Education Coaches – by law, colleges and universities need to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. Disability services and educational coaches are available on campus to assist students throughout their enrollment with anything from assistive technology devices to communicating with instructors.

Helpful Hints – provides students with general information that may be helpful to them while enrolled in college. Guidance regarding class registrations and stress management are just a few topics discussed.

Paying for College – college can be expensive, but there are numerous possibilities to fund one’s education. This link provides information on scholarships, dual enrollment possibilities and links to various financial assistance websites.

Other Education Options – aside from earning a college degree, students wishing to pursue a postsecondary education have the option of attending a certificate program, adult education program, or private lessons from a trained specialist.

Your Rights – outlines information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and requesting academic accommodations while in college.

Students Speak – connects prospective students to Student Blogs and VoiceThreads. These links allow students to see and hear others who have used ThinkCollege to help in the college research, admission, and enrollment process.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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