Disability Advising Process

“Understanding the Advising Process”

A Guide for Students with Special Needs

Registering for classes can be one of the most important things that you can do in college.  It can also be one of the most confusing!  When you were in high school you had a lot of help choosing what classes were appropriate for you and your needs.  Your parents, guidance counselor, resource teacher, and other teachers assisted you in deciding what classes you should take.  In college, this type of guidance comes from your ADVISOR.  He or she knows what classes you need for your chosen major, what will transfer to other colleges, and what courses you need to graduate. In order for your advisor to do a good job in the advising process however, you need to be a good communicator.  Sharing certain basic information with your advisor like what your major is, what your plans after community college are, if you plan on working while attending college, and what your special needs are, can make a big impact on choosing the right classes for you.

Your advisor’s goal is to help you have a successful college career while attending Central Community College.  Of course your motivation, class participation and attendance, along with your ability to advocate for yourself and seek out assistance will also play a big part in your success.  But registering for the right classes is a good place to start.  Be prepared for the advising session.  Remember your advisor is prepared to assist you, but cannot help you make good decisions without your honest input.  He/she also may not remember everything you talked about the last time you met.  Many other students will visit your advisor for help throughout the year too.  In addition, it is your responsibility to keep records of any communication you have had with your advisor. Use the folder supplied to you by the Special Populations Office to keep any notes you have made. 

What to do before meeting with your advisor:

·         Make sure you have completed your application for admissions and sent it to the admissions office. You should receive a letter of acceptance verifying this

·         Take the ASSET or COMPASS pre-enrollment assessments or have your ACT scores sent to the Assessment Office.  If you have taken these assessments elsewhere make sure they have been received before you meet with your advisor.  Call the Admissions Office at 402.562.1255 to make sure they have been received.

·         Have all your high school and college transcripts sent to the admissions office.  Do this well ahead of your advising session.  In some cases time is needed to evaluate classes you took at other colleges.

·         Call the admissions office to find out who your advisor is. Be prepared to tell the admissions personnel what major you have decided on.

·         Meet with the Special Populations Director prior to meeting with your advisor. She will help you prepare for the advising session. Call 402.562.1240 for an appointment and ask for Michele Lutz.

·         Call your advisor to set up an appointment to register for classes.  Don’t assume that he/she will be available.  Advisors are also teachers who have other commitments in the classroom, lab, or with other advisees.

·         Take a copy of your assessment results, any transcripts and any other information that will help with the advising process.  YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION TO YOUR ADVISOR.  (Your advisor will not need this information if you have prepared properly for this meeting.  Documentation should be given to the Special Populations Director, where it will be placed in a confidential and personal folder.)

The following questions have been developed to make sure your advising experience is a positive and productive one.  If you choose, the Special Populations Director will help you prepare for the meeting with your advisor. Together you will review the following questions and she will help you write down your needs.

General questions that your advisor may ask  (if they don’t ask you, you should share this information with them)

  1. What is your major?
  1. Is your goal to earn a degree?  A diploma?  A certificate?  Or earn academic transfer credits for a degree elsewhere?
  1. Do you plan on transferring to a 4 year college when you leave CCC? Another community college? What college?
  1. How many credit hours do I need to take?  Full time vs. Part time

Considerations:  Vocational Rehabilitation, Insurance, and Financial Aid Requirements

  1. Do you plan on working while attending CCC?  How many hours, what is your schedule?
  1. Are you a morning person?  Afternoon person?
  1. What subjects in high school came easy to you? What were your toughest?  What did you like the best?
  1. What kind of study habits do you have?
  1. Do you take tests well? What kind of issues do you encounter during a test?

Questions that explain your special needs due to your disability: Remember you do not need to disclose your specific disability to your adviser. You may disclose if you choose, but it is not necessary. 

  1. What are my strengths and weaknesses
  1. How does my disability affect my ability to…
  2. Read a text-book?
  1. Listen to a lecture?
  1. Take notes
  1. Write a paper
  1. Give a speech
  1. Get up in the morning/ medications etc
  1. Miss meals (especially if I must eat in the cafeteria)
  1. Get to class in short period of time
  1. Budget my time
  1. Take a test
  1. What kinds of accommodations do I use?
  1. What kind of learning environment works best for me?

What to do during the Advising Session:

  1. Introduce yourself to your advisor
  2. Share the information that you have brought with you. This includes test scores, transcripts, and the answers to the questions you worked on with the Special Populations Director.
  3. Listen closely to the information your advisor is sharing with you.  If you don’t understand ask him/her to repeat the information or explain it further.
  4. Ask questions.  Your advisor will assume that you understand everything and continue on with the session even if you don’t.   
  5. Take notes.  You are responsible for the information you talked with your advisor about.  Remember, they have other advisees and cannot remember everything you talked about.  Save them in your college folder.
  6. Ask your advisor when they will be available throughout the semester.  If you have to drop or add a class, or discuss changes in your major, it helps to know when he/she is available. Many faculty members have their schedules posted outside their offices, but it is always good to have this information in your college folder.  Remember to call before coming in to meet with your advisor.
  7. Thank them for their help.  Good manners are always a plus!

What to do after the Advising Session:

  1. Check over your advising worksheet for any errors or deletions
  2. Make a copy for your file in the Special Populations Office.  Take it to someone in the SPO.  Note: You can take it to the office and someone will make a copy for you. Room 106
  3. Take the completed advising worksheet to the admissions office.  You will NOT be registered until this important step is completed.
  4. Save your copy for future reference.  This is one more thing to put in your folder. 
Written by Kyle Sterner