Top 5 Post Secondary Transition Planning Tips
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Top 5 Post Secondary Transition Planning Tips

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

By Audre Nelson, Director CLE Monterey

To support youth in making important informed decisions about their future, parents and other caring adults can contribute a great deal to post high-school success. For youth with learning differences, this is a more complex process and optimally, exploring post-secondary options begins long before high school graduation.

photo 31. Plan early:

Examine community college, university, and post-secondary support programs for included and additional supports. Begin your research/networking as early as possible. Consider whether your student would do well at a community college, or a 4 year university, whether they would benefit from a supportive living program while going to college, and what types of individual supports (tutoring, coaching, counseling, mentoring) they may need to be successful.

2. Attend information sessions and take tours now:

Get in communication with the post-secondary sites early so you can begin to compare supports and get a good idea of what might be the best fit for your son/daughter. You may visit a college or program multiple times as you proceed with decision making, and that’s okay! It’s fine to start the process two or three years in advance of high school completion.

3. Small stepping stones do lead somewhere:

Some post-secondary programs and academic sites offer summer short-term programs to high school students so that students can get a feel for the program before committing long term. Really, any type of educational or experiential opportunity away from home is helpful during high school. Overnight camps, travel opportunities, or educational weeks on college campuses all offer opportunities for self-exploration. Self-exploration is crucial because it allows students to discover who they are, what they like to do, and what they may need to reach their goals.

Vistiting Colleges4. Build a budget:

Build a budget for post-secondary support. Know your financial support options; such as scholarships, SSI, Department of Rehabilitation. There will likely be expenses beyond the traditional college tuition such as specialized academic tutoring, therapy, or other types of supports. Many students with learning differences require 1:1 tutoring and support in college, and may not benefit from free of charge drop-in tutoring centers found at colleges. Additionally, anticipate that they will need an extended period of time in college to complete academic goals and plan accordingly to keep desired supports in place throughout their education.

5. Ready? Set? Encourage academic preparedness:

Promote increased academic autonomy and foster self-supervision of studying, reading independently, and completion/submission of assignments. These are essential college-survival skills! Have your student develop fluency with using and checking email, as well as navigating the internet. Many college classes have online ‘blackboards’, plus online journaling and homework submission. Emailing professors is a common way to communicate in college, so help prepare your son/daughter now for these college survival skills!
With these simple tips, you and your student can master the transition to college and post-secondary life with ease and excitement.

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