Pre-College Summer Opportunities for Students with Learning Differences.
Introduction – Summer Program Opportunities Designed for Students with Learning Differences
There has been an increasing number of summer programs for high school students in locations across the country. These structured summer options can help high school students gain beneficial experiences during the summer.
Some of the programs have been designed for students with learning differences. These programs can provide beneficial experiences that enable students to develop their academic skills, gain insight into their own learning style, explore post-secondary education, connect with peers, gain experience on a college campus, and/or examine potential career opportunities. The programs can also include extracurricular or co-curricular activities that are helpful for students and enable them to get to know other participants.
A Summer Program on a College Campus
A number of summer programs, for high school students with learning differences, are held on college campuses. These programs can be helpful in preparing students for the transition that occurs after high school. An educational summer program may provide important insight into academic strengths and develop useful learning strategies. For college-bound students, a program on a college campus may also provide valuable information about the types of support services that would be beneficial in a post-secondary environment, which would be useful in the college search process.
Preparing for the Transition Out of High School
As high school students begin to prepare for the transition into post-secondary life, they can consider their academic and occupational goals. College-bound students are encouraged to visit colleges, learn about the resources on different campuses, meet with a school counselor to go over the college admission process, meet with a teacher (or teachers) to discuss the services that may be needed in a higher education setting, and consider asking questions to representatives from the Offices of Support Services at colleges of interest.
Summer pre-college programs do not substitute for the aforementioned transition activities nor for thoroughly researching college options. However, these programs designed for students with learning differences, may prove to be useful in providing insight into the types of services that may be needed in a college environment.
This article is intended to provide information about some of the summer program options that have been designed for students with learning differences. It is important to note that the list of programs in this article is not meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive.
The programs included in this article are intended to provide a sample of the types of summer programs that have been developed for students with learning differences. As a note, typically, the 2020 dates for summer programs will be shown soon if they are not already there. Students and/or parents can also contact the program offices directly for information on the summer of 2020 dates.
Sample of Summer Pre-College Programs Designed for Students with Learning Differences
PAL College Search East at Curry College
The PAL College Search East summer program was developed to help students prepare for and begin the college search process, which includes finding schools that align with their goals, interests, and needs. Through the program, students can gain a better understanding of their learning strengths and needs, become more equipped to make the transition from high school to post-secondary education, develop strategies to use in the college admission process, and gain experience on a college campus.
The College Search East Program is intended for students to develop an understanding of the way that services and resources can vary among colleges. Participating students have the chance to visit colleges in the Greater Boston area to learn more about post-secondary education and examine the differences in the support services on these campuses. In addition, students have a chance to stay at Curry, learn about the resources that are available, and get a sense for life on a college campus.
Curry College, near Boston, is the home of the Program for the Advancement of Learning (PAL), which is a college-based program. The program is known for providing comprehensive support to college-ready students with learning differences such as specific learning disabilities and ADHD. Through PAL, college students work with a mentor, gain insight into their own learning, and develop academic strategies and techniques to help them attain their goals.
Summer at Landmark: High School Summer Program
Landmark College has been designed for students with learning differences and disabilities. It offers both associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs. The Landmark High School Summer Program is intended for rising 11th and 12th graders and designed to assist them with the acquisition of academic techniques and tools that can be utilized in a college environment.
The program offers courses, academic exercises, and activities to help students gain insight into their learning approach, develop an understanding of ways to strengthen their academic skills, and prepare to apply new techniques in educational settings. This residential program involves taking classes, interacting with instructors, connecting with peers, and engaging in group-oriented activities.
Landmark’s program emphasizes developing learning strategies, enhancing writing skills, and applying academic techniques. Students take a core class, a writing-based class, and have the opportunity to choose another interesting course option such as theater, photography, and more. Through the program, students have a chance to experience life on a college campus, learn new ways to approach academic tasks, and explore their own learning style.
Farleigh Dickinson University Summer Experience for Students with Learning Disabilities
Farleigh Dickinson University is the home of the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities. The university offers a Summer Program for Students with Learning Disabilities and Differences that is designed to help strengthen their academic skills. This commuter-based program is intended for rising 12th graders as well as students who have just completed the 12th grade.
The summer program has been developed to help students become better prepared for the academic rigor in a college setting. Through the program, students have the chance to build and develop a variety of educationally-oriented skills. For example, students can work on enhancing organizational skills, acquiring techniques to study, utilizing technology, and strengthening their writing skills.
In addition, the summer program provides students with the chance to take either a workshop/support-based class in math or reading. The workshops are designed for skill-development and application in the focus area.