June 23, 2004
(Kingston, ON) Queen's University, in partnership with St. Lawrence College is launching Ontario's first on-line course for high school students with learning disabilities to help smooth the transition to university or college.
According to the director of Queen's Regional Assessment and Resource Centre, (RARC) an estimated 10 per cent of the high school population in Canada with average or above average intelligence experience difficulties with listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling or math skills.
On-Line to Success is a 4-week internet-based course designed to help students understand the way they learn best. It offers learning strategies and adaptive technology suited to their individual needs, and suggests ways for them to advocate for themselves. Any student with a learning disability who has been accepted to an Ontario university or college or is on a waiting list may register for the course.
"Research has shown that many students have difficulty making the transition to post-secondary from high school, and students with learning disabilities face additional challenges adapting to this new environment," says Dr. Allyson G. Harrison, Clinical Director, RARC.
Last year, 28 students took part in the On-Line to Success pilot project. The program includes an emphasis on skill building and participation in interactive discussions. Students have opportunities to meet other students with similar difficulties and to test a wide range of state-of-the-art technology designed to meet their needs.
Students also have the option of updating their disability documentation. This assessment is necessary for students to receive accommodations like extra time on exams and note takers to help facilitate success in their post secondary studies. Queenâ€™s Regional Assessment and Resource Centre staff are trained to complete the assessments.
"Many students arrive in first year, only to discover that their documentation is outdated or inadequate," says Dr. Harrison. "Having the option to have an assessment done over the summer means that these students can start in the fall without the hassle of doing all this testing done while also completing their school work".
On-Line to Success begins July 9. Tuition is $200 and includes materials; students who successfully complete the course will receive a $150 refund. Meals, accommodations and activities are covered. Travel bursaries may be available.
For more information contact: Elspeth Christie, Learning Strategies Outreach Coordinator, (613) 533-6000 ext. 75213 or Dr. Allyson Harrison, Clinical Director, Regional Assessment and Resource Centre, Queen's Health, Counselling and Disability Services, 613-533-6311.