FAQ about Disability Services at NEC | New England College
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FAQ about Disability Services at NEC

What is the procedure for getting disability services and accommodations at New England College?

To be eligible for accommodations, the student will need to have current, appropriate test results (for example, WAIS, Woodcock-Johnson, reading and writing tests) on file with our office, and will need to complete the Needs Assessment process. The test results are usually found in the report that is given to families when a diagnosis is made or re-testing is done. The testing must be administered by a licensed, qualified professional, and must include a diagnosis and specific recommendations. IEPs, minutes from 504 planning meetings, or letters from school officials are not acceptable as documentation. Other types of disabilities (other than LD) must be documented by a certified medical and/or mental health professional, and must include a detailed diagnosis, what tests the diagnosis is based on, recommendations, and reasons for specific suggested accommodations. Testing can be no more than three years old. The College reserves the right to review documentation and determine individual accommodations and services.

Is there a fee charged for services and/or accommodations?

Most services and accommodations determined to be needed during the Needs Assessment process are included as part of the regular fees and tuition of the College.

What kind of services and accommodations are available?

The most frequently used service is tutoring which is free and available to all students. Tutoring services are available for more than 200 hours per week from early in the morning until late at night, and in several different locations on campus. Many tutors have college degrees, and do subject tutoring, proofreading and editing, skills development, and strategies development. In addition, the College has a Writing Lab and a Math Lab staffed by both students and professors. Accommodations are determined by the Needs Assessment process and might include extra time on tests, use of a computer for testing, tape recording lectures, lecture notes, Books-On-CD, etc.

How is college different from high school in terms of my rights?

Students in high school derive most of their rights to accommodations from IDEA, a federal law which entitles students to an education. The responsibilities of post-secondary schools are significantly different from those of school districts. Colleges must provide equal access to an education, but are not required to produce a certain outcome. What this means for the student is that he or she has to meet all course objectives and degree requirements. Every effort needs to be made on the part of the College to make sure that students are not discriminated against based on a disability. The College meets this mandate by providing appropriate services and accommodations to help students develop strategies that will compensate for their challenges.

Can I get the same services that I had in high school?

Although the process for determining services and accommodations is similar, the results may be different.  NEC will do a review of a student’s test results to determine what the student needs, and may come to a different conclusion about what will be most helpful for the student at the college level.  The differences in disability law at the college level may preclude things the students have had in the past like extended deadlines for assignments or modified content. On the other hand, a student may receive services he/she has never had before that will be of particular use to a college student.

What are the responsibilities of the student?

Once a student is 18 or older and in college, he or she must individually disclose to each person in order to receive an accommodation. After the Needs Assessment Form is completed, the student is given multiple copies to give to his or her teachers, staff members, tutors, and/or mentor. Students are expected to pre-arrange for testing accommodations at least three business days prior to the test. Professors are not expected to modify course objectives, course content, or provide individualized instruction or remediation.

How often can I change my Needs Assessment Form, and what do I do if I don’t feel I am getting the help I need?

The process of developing the right accommodations is always evolving. It is the student’s responsibility to let the Disability Services Office know if something isn’t working as well as it could, or if there is some difficulty communicating with a professor. We are here to help students solve problems and meet with academic success.

Anna Carlson
Director of Disability Services
Disability Services Office
New England College
acarlson@nec.edu
603-428-2302