I just read about the Disability Resource Center in Dodge Hall, what is the difference between the “DRC “and the “LDP?” The primary responsibility of the DRC is to provide equal access to students with disabilities, or who are Deaf of hard-of-hearing, through accommodations such as extended test time, note-taking services, and the removal of physical barriers. This level of service is mandated by federal law. The DRC has two LD Specialists on staff; frequency of meetings with students is determined by the student and specialist. Additional information can be found at the DRC’s website: www.northeastern.edu/drc.
The LDP is a comprehensive program for students with LD and ADD. Students meet with their LD Specialist for two regularly-scheduled, hour-long sessions each week. This regular schedule of individual meetings supports the proactive, personalized, and intensive approach of the LDP. The LD Specialists on staff at the LDP carry caseloads of 10-14 students. For eligible students, LDP staff facilitate the accommodation process with the DRC. The LDP’s website can be found at: www.northeastern.edu/uhcs/ldp.
How do I know if my son or daughter is a good candidate for the LDP? Students who are good candidates for the LDP can commit to:
- attending all their meetings with their LD specialists and all their classes.
- communicating accurately about their academic progress and any difficulties they have in their course work
- collaborating with their LD specialist to develop new skills and strategies
Our experience has shown us that students who are not ready or willing to make these commitments are less likely to benefit from the model of support used in the LDP.
There are students who participate in the LDP who, in addition to a learning disability or attention deficit disorder, have been diagnosed with a psychological disorder like anxiety or depression. We find that we are most likely to be successful with students with these profiles when the students are receiving appropriate therapeutic or psychopharmacological support. We encourage students with these diagnoses to disclose this information to the LDP, as it is often relevant in determining appropriate accommodations and services. The LDP protects the privacy of this, and all other, disability-related information.
Will I receive communication on a regular basis from the LDP about my son or daughter? At the end of each academic year, LD Specialists write letters to each of the students on their caseload to discuss the student’s achievements and goals. Copies of these letters are also sent to the student’s parents. In general, we encourage students to take responsibility for communicating with you about their progress. If you have concerns about your son or daughter that you would like to share, we invite you to call or email us. We prefer that conversations about the student’s progress include the student. If you would like to speak with your son’s or daughter’s LD Specialist, you are invited to initiate such contact, but please note that the LD Specialist may wait to return your call until your son or daughter is present when the call is made.
Are there tutors for specific subjects? Most subject areas can be covered in student’s meetings with their LD Specialist. In addition, Northeastern offers subject-area tutoring to all students through a number of departments, including CSAS Peer Tutoring, the Math Tutorial Center, and the Writing Center, and we support LDP students in making use of these resources. If students in the LDP experience difficulty in a particular class, their LD specialist will work with them to ensure that they are employing effective study skills, that they are making good use of the instructor’s office hours, and that they are accessing their approved accommodations. In those cases where a LD specialist determines that a student needs additional, targeted subject-area support, we offer one-on-one content tutoring. Content tutors are graduate students who are proficient in their specific concentration, such as calculus, chemistry, accounting, etc. Tutors are supervised by our Associate Director, and the frequency and effectiveness of the content tutorials are under regular evaluation by the LDP specialist.
Will my son’s or daughter’s professors be contacting me to let me know how he/she is doing? Professors do not typically contact parents, and will expect students to let them know directly if they need assistance in the coursework. NU faculty may use the faculty-advisor communication tool (FACT), an application that allows course instructors to report students who are experiencing difficulty to the students’ advisors, including LD specialists, for follow-up and support. In addition, the LDP will request progress reports on attendance and performance from students’ professors between four and six weeks into the semester. Additionally, we place heavy emphasis on students’ full, accurate, and timely self-report about their academic progress. There are circumstances in which an LD specialist may decide to contact you; otherwise, open communication with your student is the best source of information about his/her academic progress.
What if my son or daughter wants more time than the two one hour sessions weekly with the LD Specialist? We have found that two one-hour sessions per week generally provides students with the support that they need while also encouraging their independent work. The regular schedule of meetings encourages a structured approach in which students can address their coursework proactively. Students can let their LD Specialists know directly if they feel they need more support so that we can address their concerns and schedule an additional meeting as needed.
Is it possible for my son or daughter to experience academic difficulty even though he/she is involved in the LDP? The effectiveness of the LDP can be seen in the achievements of its students: student retention rates are high and many students earn Dean’s list honors each term. However, some students do experience significant academic difficulty. A common component of this difficulty is that the student is not attending meetings with their LD specialist at the regularly-scheduled times. The LD Specialist cannot provide sufficient support to a student who does not attend these vital sessions. A second, and often co-occurring, factor can be that the student is not reporting accurately and truthfully about their difficulties to the LD Specialist. Therefore, the LD Specialist cannot advise the student appropriately. A final explanation is that the student could be dealing with additional issues outside the area of academics. These additional issues can interfere with the student’s ability to make good use of the Program. The LD Specialist can be extremely helpful in directing a student to the appropriate resources.
My son or daughter called and is very unhappy; what should I tell him or her? The transition to college can be challenging for any college student. Most parents will receive at least one of these phone calls. Listen with a sympathetic ear and acknowledge his or her feelings. Please also encourage your student to speak with his or her LD Specialist. For academic issues, we can work directly with the student to address his or her concerns. For nonacademic issues, the LD Specialist is skilled in supporting student’s connection with the appropriate resources on campus.
I would like my son or daughter to get involved in a university club or organization. Can the LDP help? Involvement in university organizations is an integral component of students’ success and happiness at Northeastern. These organizations actively recruit students throughout each semester. While the primary focus of LDP meetings is on academic support, LD Specialists are happy to introduce your son or daughter to these organizations via the web pages that are available on the Northeastern website. You may also be encouraging in this aspect and you can find additional information about these organizations at: www.neu.edu/studentlife.