High School Students with Disabilities Participate in Transition to College Workshop

Debra Zawada, DO-IT staff

On April 9, 2009, students from four Seattle high schools participated in a Transition to College event at Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator Gina Nakamura, kicked off the event with an enthusiastic presentation on what a community college has to offer. She explained some of the differences between two- and four-year institutions to an attentive group of high school students and staff. Students asked many thoughtful questions regarding the variety of offerings, testing, and admissions procedures, as well as social opportunities.

Al Souma, Counselor with Disability Support Services (DSS), provided information related to receiving accommodations in college. Student comments and questions reflected surprise at some of the differences between high school and college disability services; for example, documenting a disability, requesting accommodations, and working with instructors. Students also learned that each college campus is different. Remember, it's always important to check in early with the DSS office on the campus you are applying to in order to get information about the specific requirements at that school!

A panel comprised of students with disabilities from Bellevue College, SCCC, and UW shared their experiences and answered questions. The information shared by the panelists drew attention to the need for students with disabilities to develop self-determination skills in order to take charge of their education and reinforced the point that high school and college disability services have different expectations of students.

Following campus tours, students returned to their high schools armed with more information to continue planning their transition to college!