College Application Process for Both Special Education and 504 Plan Students Needing Accommodations for Testing

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1 Updated College Application Process for Both Special Education and 504 Plan s Needing Accommodations for Testing *This document is additional information, a supplement to the HCHS Guidance Department s Plan Ahead: The Hinsdale Central High School Guidance Department s College Planning Guide, which may be obtained from the Guidance Department. Timeframe: Pre High School (8 th Grade, 2 nd Semester) 8 th Grade Registration Appointment with the High School 8 th Grade to 9 th Grade Special Education Transition Meeting; begin development of Post Secondary Transition Plan Explore Testing for High School Course Ability Group Placement Timeframe: 9 th Grade Freshman Year Annual IEP Meeting (Frosh) including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan, and future standardized testing accommodations College Fairs (detailed information may be obtained through weekly listserve eblasts) PSAT Application Decision Register for a Naviance Account after student earns a first semester transcript, which links to the program It is never too early for students to research information about colleges! Check college and university websites, tour campuses; sit in on classes to get a good feel for fit and match. Timeframe: 10 th Grade, Sophomore Year Annual IEP Meeting (Soph) including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan, and future standardized testing accommodations Registration for the PSAT (optional test for sophomores) PLAN Testing College Fairs (detailed information may be obtained through weekly Listserve eblasts) Sophomore Night (beginning of January) Timeframe: 11 th Grade, Junior Year Registration for the PSAT Standardized Test Preparation College Application Process and Resources made available for Special Education s Annual IEP Meeting (Jr) including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan, and future standardized testing accommodations Junior IEP Meeting (Jr) II

2 Junior Family Night program held mid February that focuses on making good decisions in the college selection process Junior Planning Conference individual appointment with each junior and his or her parent/s to discuss the college selection process when, where, how to apply to colleges. s schedule appointment for an hour+ between March 1 and April 30 Attention /: We recommend that students take their first ACT in April College Fairs (detailed information may be obtained through weekly listserve eblasts) D86 College Night alternates each year between Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South with over 200 college admission representatives Timeframe: Summer 11 th to 12 th Grade, Ascending Senior College Visits Special Application Deadlines for College Programs for s with Disabilities check college websites Timeframe: 12 th Grade, Senior Annual IEP Meeting (Sr) Post Secondary Transition Plan during Spring of Senior Year including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and Summary of Performance (SOP) to be used for college planning and accommodations

3 College Application Process for Special Education s & s w/ 504 Plans Needing Accommodations for Standardized Testing* Purpose: Special Education students, their parents, case managers, and counselors often find that arriving at an optimal post secondary education plan requires some additional steps. This document outlines the milestones in the college application process for all students with the additional steps for Special Education students added in. It also identifies the desired outcome (objective) for each step in the process from 8 th grade through senior year. s and students are encouraged to use this document proactively; if you have questions, please contact your and/or. *This document is additional information, a supplement to the HCHS Guidance Department s Plan Ahead: The Hinsdale Central Guidance Department s College Planning Guide which may be obtained from the Guidance Department. Timeframe: Pre High School (8 th Grade) Milestone Objective Description Responsibility 8 th Grade Registration Conference with the High School The Guidance Counselor will be able to proactively guide the student In late January or early February, the student and parent(s) will meet with the high school (15 minutes) and clarify the student s goals for his or her high school education. Specifically, does the student intend to go to college, and if so, what are the student s college goals? Guidance and family through The student and family will prepare for the conference by completing the Counselor the college Course Placement Form (blue) on which the student will record his/her preparation process. thoughts on college aspirations. This form will be available to the prior to the registration conference. 8 th Grade to 9 th Grade Special Education IEP Meeting The high school Special Education representative will be able to proactively guide the student and family through the college preparation process and to collaborate with the. Based on the college goals identified at this meeting, the Guidance Counselor will be empowered to provide specific directions regarding course enrollment. The will be able to identify important milestones for the student and the family to be aware of. During 8 th grade, high school Special Education personnel will visit the Junior High School or Middle School to meet with the JHS/MS IEP Team and finalize the student s IEP for the high school. Discussion should take place about the student s plans for post secondary education and what course taking will be necessary to prepare for the student s college ambitions. At this 8 th to 9 th grade IEP meeting the development of a Post Secondary Transition Plan will begin. High School Special Education representative - 3 -

4 Timeframe: Pre High School (8 th Grade) Milestone Objective Description Responsibility Explore Testing The student will be placed in the most appropriate ability group level in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Foreign Language. Typically, in October the high school will administer the ACT Corporation s Explore test to 8 th graders intending to attend HCHS. The high school will determine what accommodations students will receive for Explore testing. This decision will be based on the daily accommodations used in Middle School/Junior High. This will also be true of the PLAN test taken by 10 th grade students. But, in the case of the PSAT, ACT, SAT, and AP exams (described below) the ACT corporation or the College Board will determine Academic Data The student will be eligible to apply to receive accommodations on pre college standardized testing as a 10 th, 11 th, or 12 th grader. what accommodations will be granted to students. Situation: In anticipation of applying for ACT accommodations as an 11 th, grade student with an IEP. To be formally considered for accommodations on the ACT by the ACT Corporation, a student must have had a comprehensive re evaluation within three years of applying for the accommodations. Action: Data required by ACT to grant accommodations for testing will be considered current for the purpose of applying for accommodations if (a) the student has a re evaluation after August of his or her 8 th grade year that includes academic achievement testing, or (b) the student s initial eligibility was determined after August of the 8 th grade year. If a reevaluation is not due until grade 9 or 10, academic achievement testing conducted during that re evaluation will provide current data. ACT expects a re diagnosis by a qualified professional (e.g. school psychologist, learning disability specialist, and physician) Middle School or Junior High IEP Team. Formal communication should take place between the JHS/MS IEP Team and the High School Guidance Counselor. The High School Special Education representative s input is highly recommended.

5 Timeframe: 9 th Grade Freshman Year Milestone Objective Description Responsibility Annual IEP Meeting including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan with the Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s). College Fairs PSAT Decision The Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s) will have a coordinated approach to fouryear course selection for college admission and career preparation. The student and parent(s) will be aware of the various college options, including specialized programs for students with learning disabilities. will, or will not, prepare to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) as a sophomore (10 th grader). will, or will not, apply for accommodations on the PSAT. The and will communicate with the student to clarify the student s intentions for course selection through senior year in keeping with the Post Secondary Transition Plan, which is being developed. The will clarify his or her understanding of the student s intentions regarding college matriculation and career ideas. This will be an update from the initial conversation about college plans held at the 8 th grade registration appointment. The will clarify the milestones (identified in the Transition Plan portion of the IEP) that student and need to be aware of in preparing a Special Education student for college application. The student and parent(s) will access the Guidance Department web site and monitor the weekly ListServ s with listings of college fairs, in particular, college fairs where information on college programs for students with disabilities are featured. The student and parent(s) will attend college fairs to make themselves aware of the various options. (1) The student and parent will decide with the and Case Manager whether the student should take the PSAT as a sophomore. If a student is granted accommodations on the PSAT, the student will automatically be granted those same accommodations on the SAT, SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests, and AP (Advanced Placement) tests. So, there is much more at stake here than just accommodations on the PSAT. (2) In anticipation of taking the PSAT as a 10 th grader, in spring of 9 th grade the will give the student the College Board s Eligibility Application. IEP Team Guidance Department - 5 -

6 (3) The College Board s Eligibility Application must be completed by the family and the. The application asks what accommodations are currently in use. Accommodations will only be granted if they have been consistently used by the student in academic classes Register for a Naviance Account after first semester will have access to the Naviance program for information about the college application process. (4) In order to be successful in applying to the College Board for accommodations on the PSAT, current academic ability data will be submitted for review; this may include testing obtained privately outside of school at parents expense. Many students register for the PSAT in late August of their 10 th grade year to take the test as a practice (for the real thing as an 11 th or 12 th grader) and to receive projected SAT scores. (5) If a student does not apply to the College Board for PSAT (and SAT and AP) accommodations as a 9 th or 10 th grader, the student may need to apply for College Board accommodations as an 11 th grade student. See September of Sophomore Year. In the spring of 9 th grade, students and parents will be provided with information on how to register for access to an individualized Naviance account. In addition to various types of information to assist students in the college application process, the Guidance Department sends out information to students through Naviance s. s should regularly check their Naviance account to be up to date with information (i.e. once a week). It is never too early for students to research information about colleges! Check college and university websites, tour campuses; sit in on classes to get a good feel for fit and match.

7 - 7 - Timeframe: 10 th Grade, Sophomore Year Milestone Objective Description Responsibility Annual IEP Meeting including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan with the Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s). The,, student, and parent(s) will review the approach they are following for the remaining three years of course selection for college admission, career preparation, and transition to college. The will convene a meeting with the student, parents, and the to review the student s intentions for course selection through senior year in keeping with the Post Secondary Transition Plan, which is being developed. The will clarify his or her understanding of the student s intentions regarding college matriculation and career ideas. The will remind the student and of the milestones they need to be aware of, with particular emphasis on the 10 th and 11 th grade milestones. Attention to the college application process (or other post secondary options) will be a focus, annually, at the IEP meeting. Course selection will be reviewed with attention to college admission or career preparation. At the sophomore meeting, TCD course taking may be discussed if this is part of the student s four year plan. (Foreign Language course enrollment may also be an important topic.) IEP Team Annual IEP Meeting (Soph) Registration for the PSAT The student will be eligible to apply to receive accommodations on ACT tests taken as an 11 th grader. will take the PSAT with accommodations (if desired and if eligible). will become eligible for accommodations on At the 10 th grade, IEP meeting a formal discussion should focus on the college application process and the process for completing standardized testing applications. The issue of when the student should take the ACT will be discussed. s only may register for the ACT in the calendar year of the test during junior year. Accommodations will only be granted by ACT if they correspond to a designated deficit area and eligibility, and must have been in use for an extended period of time. See Page 3 regarding eligibility for accommodations [ Academic Achievement Testing ]. In September, the student may register for the PSAT. If the student is seeking eligibility for accommodations, the application for accommodations will have been completed in the spring (see immediately above). Information for registration for the test itself will be distributed to students in the September Homeroom, via weekly ListServ s, and by Naviance s. The fee for the PSAT is around $ Psychologist IEP Team

8 PLAN Testing College Fairs the SAT, SAT subject tests, and Advanced Placement tests if desired and if eligible. will take the PLAN test to practice for the ACT and provide information that can be used for college planning. The student and parent(s) will be aware of the various college options, including specialized programs for students with learning disabilities. Registration forms will be accessed from the Guidance Department web site. Registration forms must be returned to the Guidance Office (along with the application for accommodations). As noted above, the Case Manager (and, perhaps the Psychologist) will assist in completing the application for accommodations. The high school administers the PLAN test to all 10 th graders. The PLAN test is a practice ACT. The scores are not reported to colleges and have no bearing on college admissions. The scores are used to provide guidance to students on course taking for 11 th and 12 th grades. The scores also can be helpful in deciding whether private, family provided, ACT preparation may be appropriate. Accommodations for students with disabilities on the PLAN are approved by High School personnel only. Accommodations granted by the school for the PLAN do not have any bearing on whether the ACT Corporation will approve accommodations for the student on the ACT. Attend college fairs focused on college programs for students with disabilities. A list of College Fairs with information about programs for students with disabilities will be listed on the Guidance web site and in the Naviance program. Alerts for College Fairs will be sent out through the weekly ListServ s and through Naviance s. Annual fairs are: D86 April College Night LADSE Fall College Fair Choices (Coalition of North Suburban High Schools) Naperville (SASED) Navy Pier Psychologist Guidance Department Special Education Department and can consult on which fairs may be the most appropriate to attend. Sophomore Night s will have the results of the student s PLAN test and career inventories. will also have these results. s are encouraged to attend Sophomore Night in January. The will distribute PLAN (and PSAT test results, if taken), review career inventories, and provide an overview of the college admissions process for all students. will participate in Sophomore Career Groups where they will complete career inventories that will help to identify a student s abilities, interests, and values prior to college searches. Guidance Department

9 Sophomore Naviance Training will have access to the Naviance program for information about the college application process and become familiar with how to navigate through Naviance. Our goal will be to introduce all sophomores to the Naviance program and detail some of the great benefits of the program, including , signing up for college visits, college searches, and journaling. s will be walked through the Naviance program, highlighting all of the major features and encouraging the students to utilize the many benefits of the program Guidance Department

10 Timeframe: 11 th Grade, Junior Year Milestone Objective Description Responsibility Registration for the PSAT Test Preparation College Resources for Special Education s will take the PSAT with accommodations (if desired and if eligible). will become eligible for accommodations if applicable on the SAT, SAT subject tests, and Advanced Placement tests. The student will be eligible to qualify for National Merit status. The student and parent(s) will decide what kind of test preparation would best serve the student s needs. s and parents will learn some additional steps in the college application process for students with Many students take the PSAT as juniors. In some cases, this is the second time because some students take this test both as a sophomore and as a junior. In September, the student may register for the PSAT. If the student is seeking eligibility for accommodations the application for accommodations will have been completed the prior spring (see sophomore year, above). If this is the student s second time taking the PSAT, they need not apply a second time for accommodations. Information for registration for the test itself will be distributed to students in the September Homeroom, via weekly ListServ s, and by Naviance s. Registration forms will be accessed from the Guidance Department web site. Registration forms must be returned to the Guidance Office (along with the application for accommodations if this is the first time this test is being taken). As noted above, the (and, perhaps the Psychologist) will be involved in completing the application for accommodations. Discussion may take place between the student, parent(s), Guidance Counselor, and regarding whether it would be useful for the student to enroll in an ACT/SAT preparation course offered by one of several test preparation services some providers are hosted at HCHS as a convenience for our students and families. Families assume the cost of tuition for these services. Information is provided to students by the Guidance Department on the Guidance web page and through the ListServ s. ACT/SAT preparation courses are offered in the winter leading up to the April ACT tests. Resources on college admissions for students with disabilities will be available for students during a Junior Planning Conference (JPC). For example, in December of 2008, published expert Mary Beth Kravets presented at HCHS. Guidance Department

11 Annual IEP Meeting (Jr) including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan with the Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s). Junior IEP Meeting (Jr) II Focus on Applying for Accommodations on the ACT or SAT (if desired). disabilities. The Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s) will review the approach they are following for the remaining two years of course selection for college admission and career preparation. The student will be eligible to apply to receive accommodations on ACT tests taken as an 11 th grader. The college application process will be discussed at the annual IEP meeting; course selection will be reviewed with attention to college admission or career preparation. At the junior meeting, TCD course taking may be discussed if this is part of the student s four year plan. Foreign Language and Math course enrollment may also be important topics. See immediately below for one of the key foci of this meeting. January: Application for accommodations on the ACT/PSAE are completed and posted. The family of each student with disabilities will receive a letter in January with an application for accommodations for the State of Illinois ACT (which is part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE)) to be administered in late April. This test is free. Letters will come from the Department Chair of Special Education for students with IEPs and Department Chair of Guidance for students with 504 plans. Portions of this ACT Special Testing Application will be completed by the with assistance from the Psychologist and. The Department Chair for Special Education signs the form before mailing. All application materials will be mailed by the school as a packet to ACT. s only may register for the ACT in the calendar year of the test. Accommodations will only be granted by ACT if they correspond to a designated deficit area and eligibility, and must have been in use for an extended period of time. See Page 3 regarding eligibility for accommodations [ Academic Achievement Testing ]. Accommodations should be re confirmed by the Testing Coordinator ( with that assignment) with the student at least two days prior to the exam administration. IEP Team and parents select the testing date(s). The, Guidance Counselor and Case Manager complete the application to ACT/PSAE for accommodations. All parties must understand what is being submitted.

12 Attention /: We recommend that students take their first ACT on the state mandated PSAE day in late April this test is accepted by all colleges and universities and by the NCAA. If the student wants to take a second ACT with accommodations there are two options: early April or September. s approved for accommodations may not receive those accommodations on the June test it depends on the type of accommodation and the capabilities of the testing center (HCHS is not a test site for the June test). The late April PSAE/ACT is administered by the High School for no charge. If, for some reason, you would like for your student to take an earlier ACT, please call your /Case Manager. If a student wishes to take the early April ACT as their first test, the student must apply separately for accommodations (consult with the and ). For questions about the ACT or SAT, please check the ACT web site (ACT.org) or the College Board web site (CollegeBoard.com). Bottom line: Every time a student takes the ACT, the student must complete an accommodations application form. College Fairs The student and parent(s) will be aware of the various college options, including specialized programs for students with learning disabilities. Attend college fairs focused on college programs for students with disabilities. A list of College Fairs with information about programs for students with disabilities will be listed on the Guidance web site and in the Naviance program. Alerts for College Fairs will be sent out through the weekly ListServ s and through Naviance s. Annual fairs are: D86 April College Night LADSE Fall College Fair Choices (coalition of north suburban high schools) Naperville (SASED) Navy Pier Guidance Department Special Education Department and can consult on which fairs may be the most appropriate to attend. Junior Family Night Junior Planning Conference For students and parents to be aware of the practices and procedures of the college admissions process. s and parent will learn about the college selection process when, where, how to apply to colleges and finding the Best Fit. Junior Family Night The Process: Steps to Making an Informed Decision, This is a new event that has been scheduled prior to individual JPC s (Junior Planning Conferences). The program will be held in mid February that focuses on making good decisions in the college selection process. Individual appointment with each junior and his or her parent/s to discuss post high school planning. The conference will focus on post high school options including college and career plans, the entire college application and matriculation process, how to use the Naviance and Discover programs, standardized test information and graduation credits. s schedule appointment for an hour+ between March 1 and April 30. Guidance Department Guidance Department

13 Timeframe: Summer 11 th to 12 th Grade, Ascending Senior Milestone Objective Description Responsibility College Visits s and parents become familiar with the programs offered by different colleges. s and parents arrange to visit colleges. The most useful visits include appointments made with an Admission Office representative and with a representative in the Office of Disability Services or its equivalent. s Special Application Issues for College Programs for s with Disabilities s and parents will understand how college disability services differ from high school services and how to apply for those services. Key Question: Why doesn t a college or university automatically provide a student with an IEP/504 Plan like in high school? The following Information is taken from The K & W Guide to Colleges for s with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder The areas of disability law guiding high schools require that students with disabilities receive IEP/504 plans designed by parents, teachers, specialists and other administrators to assure student success. Postsecondary education is guided by different areas of disability law and these laws empower students to choose whether to seek assistance for their disabilities. This means that students are now responsible for deciding when to initiate the accommodations process and communicating their specific needs for each class to the appropriate university personnel. You will need to check with the Office of Civil Rights or Office of Disability Services at each college or university to learn more about each school s process and services. Both the ADA (American Disabilities Act) and Section 504 place the responsibility for establishing the presences of a disability with the student seeking an accommodation rather than a parent initiative. In other words, if the student wants reasonable accommodations the student must come forward, identify that there is a disability, document the disability and the

14 need for accommodation, and specifically request the provision of such accommodations. The burden is on the student not the college. In fact, under these laws, the college may not ask questions about the disabilities in the application/admissions process and the student need not disclose the existence of a disability s seeking information about how a particular college will respond to the student s disability and whether it will have appropriate services to meet the student s needs can and should contact the school s Office of Disability Services. The disability services staff will be able to share information about the types of services that are provided, the types of students that are effectively served by the college or university, and help the students to determine when and what information to share (pre/post application) in securing accommodations. s are protected from discrimination if they have a history of a disability or are perceived to have a disability. The burden rests with the student to document that there actually is a disability. It is important that the student keep careful records of the existence of the impairment. Colleges and universities are interested in the student s history in relation to the disability. Colleges tend to be more receptive to the provision of accommodations when the student has a history of having received special education or Section 504 accommodations for a long period of time. Colleges tend to be more skeptical of the student s entitlement to accommodations if the student went through most or all of high school without assistance and only became eligible for services late in high school, especially in junior year for the primary purpose of obtaining accommodations for standardized testing for college. As stated previously, a school may not ask questions that directly or indirectly seek to identify whether a student has a disability during the application process. However, some students may choose to share information about their disability during the application process. Some students share information about their disability during the application

15 process or even use the materials in allocation essays for sharing what that they have coped with adversity or otherwise. Whether to share and what to share in the application process is a difficult decision and should be made in consultation with parents, counselors, and even the disabilities services staff at the college the student is interested in attending Support services and programs differ at each college and university, meeting admission criteria to the school is usually the priority of every program, however, some programs may have a committee review which advocates on the student s behalf to the Admission Office. It is in a student s best interest to research these programs early (sophomore year) and apply as soon as possible. Most programs have limited enrollment and dual applications to the specific program as well as to the college or university. Once the student has been admitted and wants accommodations, the student must contact the Office of Disability Services, present documentation of a disability, and formally request accommodations. Accommodations are developed to respond to the needs of the particular individual. Just because a student seeks a particular accommodation, or even received the accommodation previously in public school, does not mean that the college or university is obliged to provide it. Additional extra fees may be required for services. A college or university has the right to refuse requested accommodations if the college or university believes and can establish that the proposed accommodation will fundamentally alter the basic mission, organization, or mode of operation of the school. This comes up most often in circumstances when the student is requesting a total wavier of a particular requirement for graduation, such as exemption form math or foreign language requirements. Under some circumstances, alternatives to these requirements can be agreed upon which will work for the student and satisfy the school, but this is not always the case. s with disabilities who know their rights and responsibilities are much better equipped to succeed in postsecondary school.

16 Timeframe: 12 th Grade, Senior Milestone Objective Description Responsibility Annual IEP Meeting (Sr) Post Secondary Transition Plan The senior IEP meeting should take place in the fall of senior year. The Transition Plan originally created by the IEP Team at the 9 th grade annual meeting will be updated. The Summary of Performance (SOP), completed in spring of senior year, will include steps to seek accommodations in college, if appropriate and possible. including review of the Post Secondary Transition Plan and the Four Year Plan with the Guidance Counselor, Case Manager, student, and parent(s). Best practice is to check directly with the Office of Disability Services simultaneously with Admission Offices, especially for programs that require a dual application process, for specific required documents that need to be submitted. Any individual evaluation or testing deemed necessary by colleges for admission to specific programs will be discussed on a case by case basis. For more information, please work directly with your child s counselor or case manager. Useful career and college information is located on Hinsdale Central s Guidance webpage as well as through suggested search engines The DISCOVER PROGRAM and NAVIANCE. (Your student will be assigned a password, or contact your student s counselor to reset the password.) Suggested websites under several categories including athletic recruiting, college admission, college majors, college applications, college admission testing, career information, financial aid, federal websites, state websites, and volunteer opportunities are located in the College Planning Guide provided by the HCHS Guidance Department during a Junior Planning Conference (JPC). Testing Information is located at and The PTO has formed a Special Education Network (February 2009). This network serves as a parent support group. Information is located at

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