Navigating the college selection process, college application process, and college enrollment process can be incredibly daunting. It involves a lot of change, new people and places, challenging questions, and a ton of paperwork. That experience can be magnified for students with learning differences and disabilities, especially once they make it to campus and the environment around them changes. This is why we have support structures in place for these students to make sure that they have an equal shot at succeeding at Drexel. Through this post, I will highlight some of the resources and accommodations available to Drexel students, and where to find additional resources not listed here.
Students seeking accommodations, support, or just guidance on their specific situation start working with the Disability Resources team as early as when they decide to attend Drexel and can start to request and identify accommodations that can support them in this transition into college.
Drexel's support for students with learning differences and disabilities starts with our Disability Resources office housed in our Office of Equality and Diversity. This team's mission is to provide equal opportunity and equal access to education, employment, programs, and activities for individuals at Drexel University. The office empowers individuals who have documented disabilities by working together proactively to provide accommodations while also providing education and guidance to the broad University community. Students seeking accommodations, support, or just guidance on their specific situation start working with the Disability Resources team as early as when they decide to attend Drexel and can start to request and identify accommodations that can support them in this transition into college.
One of the earliest available resources to our incoming Drexel students is the Dragon Scholars program. This program is a summer experience to assist with the transition from high school to college by providing higher-level academic skills and strong peer networks through participation in a diverse learning community, centered on academic excellence. The goal of this program is to empower students to navigate the University environment, utilize systems and resources that support their success, and maximize their involvement in the diverse and vibrant Drexel campus. The program is a 5-week intensive program, available both as a residential program and as a commuter program. For more information on the program, check out the Dragon Scholars Program page.
After students arrive on campus, it is important to help remove the barriers that may hold them back from success. Below are accommodations available to students in three separate categories: Academic, Housing, and Dining.
Examples of Academic Accommodations can include, but are not limited to, testing and proctoring, note-taking assistance, accessible reading materials, classroom changes, adaptive technologies, and class substitutions. An important thing to note about these types of accommodations is that the menu available to students really depends on the needs of the student, and the team is capable of finding new solutions that are the right fit for each individual student. These sorts of accommodations are the most common that students will take advantage of in order to succeed in the classroom. We also offer Housing and Dining Accommodations to make sure that life outside of the classroom, while you are a Drexel student, is as healthy and productive as possible. Your physical and emotional health is so incredibly important to your success here.
Drexel recognizes that not all students have diagnosed disabilities that would grant them the opportunity to take advantage of these resources or these resources are not the right fit for their needs, so there are other places you can go for help as well.
Drexel's Counseling Center offers free, confidential counseling services to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Their mission is to support the academic goals of the University through assisting students with personal challenges that interfere with their progress, and to promote and foster the academic, personal, and interpersonal development of our students. Examples of services offered include individual, group, and couples counseling; outreach programs and workshops; self-help, consultation and referral programs, and online student support. For a full list of their resources, please refer to the Counseling Center website.
The Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP) is a student-centered program that provides support in the areas of academics, social competency, self-advocacy, interpersonal skills, independent living, and social integration. The goal of DASP is to ensure that their participants take advantage of University life and develop academic and social skills needed to pursue and sustain career opportunities. Students with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS, or non-verbal learning disability would be the individuals best supported by the program. Students do not need a formal diagnosis to receive support from DASP. For further information on DASP, please refer to the Drexel Autism Support Program page.
Each student has individual life experiences and needs that can be supported through a variety of Drexel programs; not all situations can be answered through a blog post. Please refer to the above links, and the Office of Disability Resources, for further information and questions!
Kevin Murray is an Assistant Director in Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel as well as an alumnus. He spends his free time drinking coffee and thinking about where in the world he wants to travel next.