DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College, Iowa’s first college, ranks 11th among the 50 Best Disability Friendly Colleges and Universities, according to College Choice, a publication that reviews and rates the nation’s colleges and universities to help students find the right school.
Schools that made the list exceeded the minimum legal requirements for accessibility and were also evaluated and ranked based on characteristics such as academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, average financial aid awarded, and return on investment.
Loras College features the Lynch Learning Center (LLC), which offers three levels of direction and support for students with diagnosed learning disabilities. The center has provided a focused, comprehensive program for students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder for nearly 30 years.
“We have dedicated and experienced staff ready to offer new programming specific to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Lynn Gallagher, Ed.D., director of Disability Services at the Lynch Learning Center.
In 2015, the center launched a four-year program specifically designed to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) thrive emotionally, academically and socially as they work toward a bachelor’s degree. Students enrolled in the program participate in regular meetings with a certified autism specialist as they work through processes of self-advocacy, stress management, and organization.
In addition to skill building, students receive specialized career prep including job shadowing, career fairs, internships and one-on-one résumé and cover letter counseling.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in 68 children is diagnosed with some form of autism—a number that has risen 17 percent per year since the mid-1990s. Loras is one of few institutions that offers a dedicated, four-degree, ASD program.
Loras College also offers accommodation services that include consultation with LLC staff to determine how services like less-distracting testing environments, extended-time testing, and assistive technology can benefit students.
Students interested in the new program should apply simultaneously to the college and through the LLC. For more information or to apply, contact Gallagher at Lynn.Gallagher@loras.edu or 563.588.7921.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.