FAQs About Loras College Disability Services
What is the difference between Accommodation Services and the Enhanced Program?
Accommodation Services are the federally mandated supports that are available at no additional cost to students with documented disabilities and a need for services. They include, but are not limited to, note takers, testing accommodations (extended time, testing in a distraction-reduced setting, etc), alternative-format texts (audio, texts that can be used with Kurzweil reading software, large-print), other assistive technology, and consultation with Lynch Office of Disability Services (LODS) staff.
The Enhanced Program is a comprehensive program that offers a weekly meeting with an LODS staff member who also serves as the student’s advisor, a two-credit class called Learning Strategies
both semesters of the first year, and peer tutors. After the first year, students who choose to continue in the Enhanced Program have a weekly meeting and peer tutors, if needed. A fee is charged for this program. Students in the Enhanced Program are also eligible for the Accommodation Services that their documentation supports.
Since college is a new arena, we encourage students to explore both options. The majority of students who participate in the Enhanced Program have a primary diagnosis of LD (learning disability) or AD/HD (attention deficit disorders with or without hyperactivity). However, students with other disabilities are also considered for the Enhanced Program. Many students find that Accommodation Services provide the support they need; others appreciate the structure the Enhanced Program offers to assist them with the transition from high school to college.
When do I submit documentation if I want Accommodation Services?
We encourage students to send documentation to the Lynch Office of Disability Services (LODS) for review as soon as possible after their acceptance to Loras. Sometimes the documentation is not complete or is not recent (within the past three years) which may mean a delay in receiving services. Sending information early allows time for the LODS staff to review the materials and new testing to be completed if necessary before the start of classes.
I was staffed out of the Resource Program in my sophomore year of high school and later had only a 504 plan. Do I qualify for Accommodation Services in college?
Perhaps. Receiving accommodations or special education programming in the past does not automatically mean you will qualify for Accommodation Services in college. Some students received services in high school without a diagnosis; others had a diagnosis but their disability did not require accommodations. The key is determining if the disability has an impact on your academic performance. Submit your documentation and the LODS staff will review the information to determine if you qualify for services.
When should I apply to the Enhanced Program?
We encourage students to apply to the College and the Enhanced Program early in their senior year (separate applications required) before the December 15 priority application date. After your applications and documentation have been received, the LODS staff will review your file. Students who can benefit from the program will be invited for an official interview with an LODS staff member.
How many students are accepted for the Enhanced Program each year?
The number of new students (first-year and transfer) admitted each year varies depending on the number of students who continue in the program, graduate, study abroad, student teach or leave the program for other reasons. There is no quota. Students who apply early to the College and the Enhanced Program have an advantage.
What is the cost of the Enhanced Program?
The fee for first-year students in the Enhanced Program is $4100 for the 2010-11 academic year. For all other students (transfers, returning students), the fee is $3600 (2010-11 academic year).
Do you have scholarships that cover the cost of the Enhanced Program?
Students who are accepted to the Enhanced Program and confirm their acceptance by May 1, are considered for the limited (one or two each year) need-based scholarships that are offered to first-year students. The Loras Financial Aid Office makes the determination; no application is required. The scholarship is renewable as long as the student participates in the Enhanced Program. We also encourage students to explore scholarship funds available for students with disabilities in their communities and to register with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (Vocational Rehabilitation) in their county. In some cases, the fee for the Enhanced Program has been funded in part or whole by this office.
Is the cost of the Enhanced Program considered when determining financial aid?
Yes. The cost of the Enhanced Program is included in your total educational costs and appears as an “Enhanced Program Fee” on your bill.
Who is responsible for notifying my teachers that I have a disability and need accommodations?
You are. A staff member from the Lynch Office of Disability Services will schedule an intake interview with you to sign a contract and to determine in which classes you will need accommodations. For those classes that require accommodations, you will meet with the professor(s) and share the “Accommodation Form” that was prepared by the LODS staff member with input from you. Some semesters you may need accommodations in a number of classes; for other semesters you may need none or only a few.
Faculty members recognize the importance of confidentiality when dealing with students with disabilities. You are not required to explain your disability to your professors. The Accommodation Form verifies your eligibility for services. Your responsibility is to discuss with the professor how the accommodations will be delivered and to offer insights about what you will need to be successful in the class.
If you have any questions about the levels of service, documentation requirements, or the application process for the Enhanced Program, contact us.
Lynch Office of Disability Services
1450 Alta Vista St.
Dubuque, Iowa 52001