SNC accomodates all student learning styles

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There are many reasons students come to Sierra Nevada College. One is the small class sizes and the individualized help students receive from their teachers. Students who have learning disabilities and physical disabilities are supported in a small inclusive environment to help advance in their educations.

One SNC junior, who preferred to stay anonymous because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said she was diagnosed at an early age with dysgraphia and dyslexia, which made school more challenging. After being evaluated and tested, she was able to forgo accommodations which include; extra time on tests and assignments, a note-taker, and assistive technology. “Without accommodations, I would have been a high school drop out,” she said.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures students with disabilities equal access to post-secondary education. By law, colleges must accommodate each student individually for their specific disability.

Henry Conover is an advocate for SNC students. As director of academic support services and ADA compliance officer, he works closely with this population of students so they can achieve academic success. SNC offers a variety of academic support services, including: tutoring center, career and internship services, test proctoring, the strategies for college success program, and ADA accommodations.

The strategies for college success program is a three-credit class that meets twice a week in the library. In the class a peer mentor works closely with the student on time-management skills, tutoring and study skills where the student can grow to their full potential and have extra support.

“My first semester at SNC, I failed a lot of tests, and I ended up failing two classes,” one SNC senior explained. “Then I was placed into the college success class.”

The peer tutor worked with the student on different test-taking strategies, where he raised his GPA. This student felt self-conscious and he wanted to keep his anonymity.  Conover estimates that 5-10 percent of the school’s population have a physical or learning disability. He says one struggle is encouraging students to use the available resources because of perceptions about pride or stigma.

Most of the students Conover works with that have accommodations are generally good students and are on top of their work, he said. But many do not come for help and fall through the cracks.

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