Prospective students interested in attending Citrus College should follow the Steps to Apply and Register. After you have applied for admissions to Citrus College (step 1) and have received a student ID number, you may register with DSPS. Information on how to request academic accommodations can be found on the Getting Started tab.
- If you have a history of receiving special education services, obtain disability documentation from your high school special education office or appropriate professional (e.g., IEP, Psychoeducational Report, or 504 Plan). Keep your original documentation for your records, but submit a copy to DSPS.
- Learn to advocate for yourself while in high school. This means practice conveying to others what you need, asking questions when something is not clear, asking for help when needed, be able to explain what you need help with, and schedule your own appointments. While you may have gotten use to your parent or guardian doing this for you as a child, advocating for yourself is a new responsibility as a college student both with instructors and with student services personnel, even if you are under age 18. Students who practice building their self-advocacy skills during high school have a much smoother transition to meet college expectations. Self-advocacy is also a vital skill to have in all aspects of life beyond the college environment. Advocating for yourself can be done verbally, in written expression, or with the use of assistive technology.
- Be prepared for your DSPS intake appointment. Be clear about any accommodations you have received in the past and may want to request. Understand and be able to articulate what your disability is and how it affects you. The DSPS counselor needs to have your perspective and experience with learning, not your parent, guardian or friend communicating this information for you. It is recommended to practice articulating this information with someone you trust or are close with prior to your DSPS appointment.
- While in high school, learn how to use accommodations similar to those available in college. Modifications that lower academic standards are not authorized in higher education.
- Familiarize yourself with who the service providers are and what other support personnel are available, and then use their services on a regular basis. For example, if you are a Regional Center client or Department of Rehabilitation consumer, learn who your contacts are for these agencies.
- Learn how to responsibly handle freedom, making good choices that enhance opportunities for success; learn how to balance time with study, work, and relaxation.
- It is recommended to have your living space and study materials organized by using files, notebooks and a good calendar.
- Learn and practice good study strategies: reading comprehension, note-taking, active listening, and reviewing course material regularly (not just before tests). Consider enrolling in a Citrus College counseling class or DSPS Educational Assistance Course (EAC) to further develop college level study strategies. More information about EAC can be found under the Accommodations and Services tab.
Services students typically receive at the high school level may look very different at the college level. Not all services provided in K-12 are provided in college.
High School Level Support Services
- The school district is responsible for identifying students with disabilities including evaluating and documenting the disability free of charge for the student.
- Parents often speak on their child’s behalf in IEP meetings to determine placement and appropriate services.
- Once a disability is documented, services are made available and included in the student's daily schedule.
- The school district monitors student progress and effectiveness of accommodations and services.
- Special goals and objectives are determined by school personnel and by parents/guardians for each student receiving services.
- Specific classes or placements must be available for students.
- Students are provided free appropriate education in the least restrictive environment to ensure success. This means that the IEP may include curriculum modifications such as: abbreviated tests, slower pace, reduction in course-work expectations, or modified grading standards for students with disabilities.
- Students may be provided additional services such as: speech-language pathology or medical services, physical and occupational therapy, personal tutoring, personal assistant/aide, or transportation services. Colleges are not required to provide these services.
- Parents are notified and must give permission for any decisions regarding their son/daughter.
- Parents or guardians advocate for their son/daughter.
- Reevaluation of students is conducted by the school on a regular basis (generally every three years).
College Level Support Services
- The student is responsible for self-identifying as having a disability and must provide current documentation of their disability to the college. Participation in DSPS is voluntary.
- With an interactive discussion with the student, along with review of disability documentation, college disability professionals will determine what services are appropriate.
- Even after documentation is provided and reasonable accommodations authorized, the student is responsible to show their accommodation letter (i.e., Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)) to instructors to request to use accommodations for each class every semester or term. Students are responsible for updating their AAP every academic year by meeting with a DSPS counselor for continued access to accommodations.
- Students monitor their own progress and effectiveness of accommodations.
- Students set their own academic goals.
- Students with disabilities enroll in college level courses with all other students.
- College students with disabilities are responsible for meeting the same academic standards as those without disabilities. Accommodations are designed to afford the student equal access to the college curriculum, but do not modify the fundamental standards of the courses or programs. College grades reflect the quality of work submitted and grading standards are not modified or lowered for students with disabilities.
- Parents are not notified of services their son/daughter receives.
- Students advocate for themselves.
- Reevaluation of a disability is not generally required if a student remains continuously enrolled in the college.
- Actual time spent in classes is considerably less in college than in high school, creating much more free time. What you do during this free time can greatly impact your academic success.
- The freedom to not attend classes is much greater in college than in high school. Not attending class, however, is directly correlated to academic struggles in college. Instructors may also drop students from their course for chronic absences where the student has not initiated any communication with the instructor or DSPS.
- College instructors spend much more time lecturing and expect students to read and study textbooks on their own. Textbooks often have to be purchased.
- Studying in college does not necessarily mean homework; it means independent learning, such as reading, reviewing notes or studying outside sources in the library.
- For every hour in class, two to three hours outside of class should be spent studying. For example, if you are in class for five (5) hours a week, you should be studying outside of class between ten (10) and fifteen (15) hours per week.
- Tests in college are generally given less frequently than in high school.
- Offering extra credit assignments is at the discretion of the college instructor.
- Students are responsible to initiate discussion with the instructor if there are any questions about academic progress in the class.
- College grades reflect the quality of work submitted. Grading standards are not modified or lowered.
- If a student is not meeting academic progress standards set by the college, the student may be put on probation or dismissal.
Your decision to attend college should be made with an educational goal in mind. It is important to gain a clear understanding of the college's skill awards, certificate programs, associate degree requirements, and/or transfer requirements when considering a goal.
Students are encouraged to explore the programs offered at Citrus College. The Counseling and Advisement Center provides detailed information about programs of study under the Academic Achievement subhead on their main web page.
Those interested in transferring to a university should review the information on the transfer services website.
If you are undecided on an educational goal to pursue, explore the resources available through Citrus College Career Services.
Once you have applied to the college and have a Citrus College ID number, you may make an appointment to meet with a counselor or educational adviser in the Counseling and Advisement Center for assistance with developing a student education plan (SEP).
As your son/daughter begin a new journey to pursue post-secondary education, they could be experiencing a wide range of emotions from excitement to nervousness. Similarly, as the parent or guardian who has advocated for your son/daughter their entire life, you could also be experiencing a myriad of emotions as they transition from adolescent to adulthood.
The information in this section is designed to answer frequently asked questions from parents, as well as provide important information and strategies to assist you in supporting your son/daughter in their transition to adulthood.
Do I have the same rights as a parent of an adult in college that I did as a minor in high school?
When a student turns 18 years old or attends a school beyond the high school level, all rights afforded to you as a parent under FERPA transfer to the student ("eligible student").
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99).
This law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
My son/daughter is a minor (under 18) and is just taking one class at Citrus College. Does FERPA still apply? What are my rights as a parent in this scenario?
When a student attends an institution of postsecondary education
at any age (thereby becoming an "eligible student") the rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student.
What does FERPA mean in terms of my communication with DSPS on behalf of my son/daughter?
At the college level, this means that students should be taking the DSPS process into their own hands. This means that students, not parents, need to schedule, cancel, or reschedule their own appointments. If there are questions that come up for you and your son/daughter is in the process of requesting accommodations through DSPS, please encourage your son/daughter to be the one to ask them of DSPS staff.
The role of advocacy shifts from parent to student in higher education. Coach your son/daughter to build self-advocacy skills which will greatly benefit them in the long run. For example, teach your son/daughter how to make a phone call to schedule an appointment before they attempt to make the call. Students may feel nervous doing this for the first few times, so writing out a script that they could read aloud along with being beside them as they make the call are effective strategies to couch and support your son/daughter in building self-advocacy skills. Equally effective is teaching them how to compose an email message to schedule an appointment where the message is coming from their own email address.
If a parent has legal conservatorship, please submit a copy to the DSPS office at
email@example.com for review, as the parental right may differ in a situation where the student is conserved. Please note, should conservatorship exist, the student must still take an active role in his or her education.
I have advocated for my son/daughter for many years, and I am used to being able to talk with disability professionals about their disability. How does this change in college?
Part of the mission of DSPS is to empower students with disabilities to be their own self-advocate, a critical skill to possess for healthy functioning as an adult. The ability for individuals with disabilities to express their needs to others fosters independence and promotes self-growth. Therefore, it is very important that we allow the student to be an active participant in the process of discussing accommodations and the nature of their disability with DSPS staff. We want to hear from students to understand their perspective, as it is very helpful in determining appropriate accommodations. DSPS staff are very aware that for many students this is a new skill to learn, but the goal is to give students the opportunity to develop this skill through their interactions with us and with their college instructors.
While you, as the parent, can of course be present for a meeting (if your son/daughter provides permission), we would encourage you to allow for this process to take place and help your son/daughter to speak on behalf of their own needs. As the parent or guardian, we recommend that you to coach your son/daughter to prepare for their DSPS intake appointment by teaching them how to articulate the nature of their disability, and have a conversation with them where they share with you how it affects them in school. Role modeling or role playing this conversation and practicing prior to their appointment is helping them learn how to independently express their needs to others. Help them identify questions to ask to the counselor. If they struggle with working memory, have them write or type out their questions so that they can refer back to the notes when they meet with the counselor.
Due to disability related functional limitations, students may also convey their need for accommodations through written expression, typing, or using assistive technology. Sign language interpreters are also available for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Are the accommodations available in college the same as those that were available in high school?
Accommodations available to students in college differ greatly from high school modifications and accommodations. College accommodations cannot fundamentally alter or lower academic standards of the curriculum, nor lower the approved learning outcomes or objectives in the course outline of record. The purpose of college accommodations is to ensure equitable access and are determined on an individualized basis.
My son/daughter is a minor and is part of Dual Enrollment or CCAP. Will DSPS use their IEP because the student is still enrolled in high school?
Students under the age of 18 often rely on their parents to speak on their behalf. It is important for students and their family to be aware that once the student decides to take a college course through Dual Enrollment or CCAP, they fall under college policies and procedures, including student privacy guidelines under FERPA. Please help your son/daughter to build self-advocacy skills by having them schedule their own appointments and allowing them the opportunity to discuss their need for accommodations when they meet with a DSPS counselor.
High school students taking college level courses through Dual Enrollment or CCAP may request accommodations by registering with disabled student programs and services (DSPS). Information on how to register can be found
on this DSPS website on the Getting Started tab.
Please note, there are differences between high school and college level course work, and not all accommodations that are available at the high school may be allowed in college courses. Students are accommodated to the maximum reasonable extent. Each situation and accommodation request is evaluated on an individual case-by-case basis. To earn college credit, students with disabilities must meet the same academic standards and performance expectations like all other students.
Accommodations for college courses are designed to ensure equal access. They do not fundamentally modify or lower academic or performance standards.
I am used to communicating with my son/daughter's teachers. Does FERPA allow for this?
Teachers will interface with students and will not communicate with parents on behalf of the student. Students who have questions about their academic progress should contact their instructor via email, after class or during office hours. Additionally, it is the student's responsibility to present their Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP), outlining approved accommodations, to their instructors. This process is reviewed extensively with students during a DSPScounseling meeting after accommodations have been determined.
Is there any information that I, as a parent, can obtain regarding my son/daughter while in college?
A student may grant the college permission to release some information about their education records to a third party by submitting
a completed Release of Information form. This form is applicable for student records in admissions and records, financial aid, and/or fiscal services. The
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) statement provides further details.