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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Learn how to responsibly handle freedom, making good choices that enhance opportunities for success; learn how to balance time with study, work, and relaxation.

  7. It is recommended to have your living space and study materials organized by using files, notebooks and a good calendar.

  8. 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.
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