College Next Year?

Finishing high school soon … and wondering what’s next?
If you have ADHD or learning disabilities of any sort, additional factors may take on importance in figuring out what’s next, in particular:  
  •  readiness for college
  • fatigue coming out of high school 
  • your learning style 
  • specific programs and services you might need for success in college
  • help in sorting through your options
  • support in preparing for your next steps.

This blog post will address assessing your readiness for college, and options to consider if you are uncertain if college is right for you at this point. A subsequent post will address, if college is your choice, what to look for in a college to make sure you get the services and support you need for success.
Wondering how to tell if you are ready for college?
Landmark College recommends planning ahead to assure you’re college-ready with the following skills that are key to success in college life both academically and personally:

  • academic skills
  • self-understanding
  • self-advocacy
  • executive function skills such as time management and organization as well as
  • motivation and confidence. 

For more about readiness in each of these areas, and resources to promote readiness, see my series of blog posts starting with: http://lizahmann.blogspot.com/2010/03/college-readiness-and-adhd-academic.html

Another resource for exploring and developing readiness is Maitland & Quinn’s excellent book Ready for Take-off: Preparing your Teen with ADHD or LD for College

Feeling uncertain about moving right into college?

There can be great wisdom in holding off on college and allowing a teen and his/her brain some time to mature. Consider the following options:

A well-planned gap year can allow time for maturation as well as exploration and regeneration after a challenging high school experience. Gap years can be local, elsewhere in the US, or overseas and can involve a wide range of interesting opportunities.  http://www.kidsenabled.org/articles/index.php/200803/path-to-college-the-gap-year/

Advantages can be significant when trying college on for size at a local community college, whether for a summer, a semester or longer. These schools typically serve a wide range of learners, and many offer a variety of supports and accommodations to assist students with diverse learning profiles. Credits can later be transferred to a four-year college or university.

Non-degree programs that offer a college-type experience are also worth a look if college seems a bit daunting for one reason or another. These programs promoting independent living and social skills are often associated with a college and sometimes lead to a certificate or to a certain number of credits toward a degree. http://kaarme.com/Learning_Disability_College_Programs

If college-style learning is just not a good fit, other options include employment, trade school, an apprenticeship, job corps, or the military. 

Interested in college but not sure how to find the right fit? 

A subsequent blog post will address this topic in detail, addressing the following questions:

  • What is your learning style?
  • What type of on-campus support do you need for success?
  • What other options are there?
  • Where can you get more information about appropriate college options?
  • Where can you find support and assistance in navigating this big decision?
Here’s hoping these tips and resources make your decisions easier. Whatever direction your journey leads: wishing you the best on your new adventures!

    Posted in ADD, ADHD, college, college readiness

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