Learning Centers
Learning Disability Services

Link to the Handbook for Students with Learning DisabilitiesInformation for Prospective Students

Services the Learning Disabilities Specialist Provides and How to Access Them

The Learning Disabilities Specialist will provide a combination of services and accommodations based on a student’s individual needs. Keep in mind that college does not have resource rooms or special education teachers—students are expected to be independent learners who seek assistance when they need it.

The LD Specialist will:

  • Review your documentation and recommend accommodations;
  • Evaluate your diagnostic information to help you better understand your disability;
  • Help you prepare for your meetings with your advisor;
  • Help you obtain texts in alternate format;
  • Help you find note takers;
  • Work with the Center for Access and Assistive Technology to coordinate accommodations;
  • Work with the staff of the Learning Assistance Center to coordinate academic support services.

To access these services, students must complete the following four steps:

  • Provide recent documentation concerning the learning disability or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to the guidelines;
  • Complete the registration and release form;
  • Schedule an intake meeting with the Learning Disabilities Specialist;
  • Meet with the staff of the Center for Access and Assistive Technology.

Services will be provided upon completion of the above steps. Once this is done, students will be offered a combination of services and reasonable accommodations based upon individual needs. Some accommodations are available only for learning disabled students. Other services that may be recommended are available for all Hudson Valley students.

Here is a checklist you can print out and use as you complete the process.

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How to Arrange Accommodations for the Placement Test

  1. Apply to the college through the regular admissions process.

  2. Contact the Learning Disabilities Office in the Learning Assistance Center. We will send you a packet of information telling you what documentation we need and where to send it. There are also some forms for you to fill out and return to us.

  3. When we have all the information, we will contact you to come in for an intake meeting. We will discuss your accommodations, the services available at the college, and fill out a form for your advisor that will help guide your course selection.

  4. You will leave the intake meeting with a “to-do” list that tells you how to schedule your placement test.

  5. Placement tests with accommodations are administered in the Center for Access and Assistive Technology in the Campus Center.

For more information on the placement test, click here.

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Other Services at the College

Students at Hudson Valley Community College are eligible for a variety of services designed to help them get the most out of their time here. The following are available for all students enrolled at Hudson Valley.

Academic support and tutoring:
Learning Assistance Center
Computer Learning Center
Center for Counseling and Transfer
Science Study Center

Support for minority students:
Collegiate Academic Support Program

Support for economically disadvantaged students:
Collegiate Academic Support Program (CASP)
Educational Opportunity Program

Career Planning and Placement:
Center for Careers and Employment

Personal Counseling and Psychological Services:
Center for Counseling and Transfer

Transfer Planning:
Center for Counseling and Transfer

Disabilities (other than learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
Center for Access and Assistive Technology

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Differences Between High School and College

In high school:

In college:

Law protects student’s right to a free and appropriate education.

IDEA applies.

Law only protects student’s right to an accessible educational program.

Right of access, not right of education.

ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply.

School is responsible for providing students with a good education.

Students are responsible for making sure they get a good education.

Special help is scheduled into student’s program.

Accommodations are available for students who then choose when to use them.

School is responsible for evaluating students and developing an education plan.

Students are responsible for obtaining an evaluation and developing their own education plan.

Some 1100 hours a year are spent in class.

Only 340 hours a year are spent in class. That’s 170 hours each semester.

All that class time made it easy to make friends.

Fewer hours in class and different students in each class make it difficult to make friends. College can be lonely.

You study for as long as it takes you to complete your homework or prepare for a test.

You should study two hours for every one hour of class. That means 3 to 4 hours a day.

Teachers advocate for students, talking to others regarding their accommodations.

Students must be their own advocates. They must talk to instructors about the accommodations they require.

You won’t get “kicked out” for a bad grade. If you get a D or an F, you just continue on.

If your grade point average falls below a “C” in some colleges, you may be asked to withdraw. At HVCC you must have a 1.3 average for your first semester and a 2.0 to graduate.

Parents are involved in the process, attending meetings and sharing in decision-making.

The college communicates with the student, not the parents (even if the parents are paying the bill!).

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Hints for Getting Ready to Start College

  1. Make a weekly schedule of your classes, study time, job hours and recreation time. Keep an extra copy handy just in case! If you need help with time management, check with us.
  2. Before the semester begins, plan to visit the college and check out where your classes will be held. Your schedule will have the building and the room for each of your courses. Do a trial run of both your schedule and parking.
  3. Buy your books before classes start. The bookstore is a very busy place the first few days of the semester. Try ordering your books online. The bookstore will have them bagged and ready for you, so there is no waiting; you just walk in, pay, and pick up the package!
  4. On the first day, leave home a little early. Traffic can be slow heading to the parking lots, so having extra time cuts down on those last minute jitters.
  5. Bring supplies with you in a sturdy book bag or brief case. Things to include are:
    • Daily planner
    • Binders with loose leaf paper, or notebooks
    • Pens and pencils
    • Calculator
    • Spellchecker
    • Good dictionary
    • Markers or high lighters
  6. Schedule your appointment for your accommodation letters ahead of time. That way we can have your paperwork ready and the visit will be quick. You can drop by, call us, or call the secretary of the LAC at 629-7230 to schedule.
  7. Learn the basics:
    • Read the College Handbook for policies and procedures.
    • Know the college calendar, especially dates such as “add/drop” week, last day to withdraw, and final exam week.
    • Learn the meaning of college vocabulary.

Don’t be surprised if you feel nervous! You are beginning a new stage in your education and your life. It is natural to feel excited and a bit anxious.
But it doesn’t take long to feel at home here. And don’t forget, there are plenty of us around to help you out.

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Student Responsibilities

As a college student, you will find you have many new responsibilities. The college expects you to be an independent learner and take charge of your own education. Many supports are in place to assist you, but you are the one who must access them when you need them.

Have you learned how to …

  • Get up on time?
  • Take responsibility for your health by getting enough rest and eating wisely?
  • Keep aware of deadlines such as registering for courses for the next semester?
  • Deal with lines for books, registration, cashier, etc?
  • Follow parking and other rules?
  • Keep track of your assignments?

How’s your social life?

In college…

  • There may be a more diverse student population than you are used to.
  • You may have different classmates in each course.
  • You may feel isolated.
  • You need to make independent decisions about alcohol and drug use.
  • There is little adult guidance unless you seek it out.

Remember…Mom and Dad will not be with you. College requires you to be an independent adult!

Are you prepared for:

  • Larger classes?
  • Infrequent evaluations (maybe only a midterm and a final)?
  • Homework that is not checked by the teacher?
  • Firm deadlines for assignments? 

Do you have these skills?

  • Computer literacy (including keyboarding)
  • Study skills
    • Daily review
    • Note taking in class and from textbooks
    • Test preparation
  • Self-knowledge…What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Time management…you need to know:
    • How to use a syllabus to plan your work for the semester.
    • Hours and location of the library and academic support services.
    • Professors’ office hours.

Students with disabilities also need to…

  • Find out about disability services on your campus
  • Register with the disability office.
  • Furnish the correct documentation in a timely manner.
  • Meet with disability personnel to discuss appropriate accommodations and procedures.
  • Learn which services are “free” and which you will have to pay for.
  • Learn about being a self-advocate..
    • Talking to professors
    • Obtaining note takers
    • Working with VESID and other agencies

Keep in mind that assigned work is only the beginning. To master the material, you may have to do additional work. 
Be smart…always go to class!

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IEP Diplomas

IEP diplomas are not equivalent to Regents diplomas or a GED. A student who leaves high school with an IEP diploma has met the goals set forth in his or her IEP, but has not met the requirements for graduation as required by New York State. The IEP diploma does not meet the entrance requirement of most colleges that incoming students be high school graduates.

Hudson Valley Community College accepts students who are not high school graduates and do not have a GED. However, the student must meet an Ability to Benefit test in order to receive financial aid and will be enrolled in a general course of study as outlined by New York State. This course of study requires the student to complete 24 credits of college level courses in several areas including English, mathematics, natural sciences and others.

Students who wish to enter college with an IEP diploma are advised to consider carefully the demands of the 24 credit hour program. Additional academic preparation before entering college might be advisable.

For more information on entrance requirements and IEP diplomas, please click on the following link

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