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Learning Differences: 5 Steps to Post-Secondary Planning

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Students with learning differences must start early in their planning for post-secondary education. Here are 5 initial hints to help begin the process.

1. Continue to do your best in high school coursework.

Keep up a steady pace.  Develop good study habits and follow them.  Use good time management skills. Ask for help when you need it.   Prioritize your assignments so that you keep on schedule to get everything done.  If you miss an assignment or bomb a test, don’t give up!  Keep working at improving yourself, your habits and your grades.

2.  Firm up your academic plan

Be sure you are on track to meet all high school graduation requirements as well as the general requirements for getting into college.  That usually means a minimum number of science, math and foreign language courses required.

3.  Arrange early for ACT accommodations

Accommodations vary. If you are contemplating securing accommodations, you must plan early.  Six months ahead is generally necessary.  The ACT website is a good place to start.  The process may be time consuming, and it does require accurate records, documentation and follow through, but it can be well worth the effort.  Generally, accommodations are initiated through your high school guidance counselor, but do your research of the process first.  Be aware that utilizing accommodations can be an important step in your college application process.

4.  Check out and attend college fairs

College fairs are a central resource to obtain information about many colleges and programs in one event. You can start as early as your freshman year.  The area CHOICES Fair is a college fair with a focus on services for LD students.   For the Chicago area, it is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at Vernon Hills High School.  More info is on their website .

5. Begin to write your resume

Simply gather your inventory of activities and accomplishments from 9th grade on.  As your experiences grow, so will your resume.  Keep track of what you did and how you contributed to the group or event.  Everything counts!  School activities, community activities, volunteer activities all make you the person that you are.  Everyone has a unique story to tell, and your activities

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