DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College ranks 33rd among America’s Top 50 Colleges for Students With Disabilities, according to Great Value Colleges, a website 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.
“Our academic and extracurricular offerings are designed to enhance the learning of all students and Loras College is thrilled to provide support and guidance to the neurodiverse community we serve,” Lynn Gallagher, Ed.D., director of the Lynch Learning Center, said.
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 59 children is diagnosed with some form of autism—a number that has risen 18 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
Founded in 1839, Loras College 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 colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).
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