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Promoting Academic SuccesS Centre

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About services for students with a diagnosed disability

WELCOME to Mount Wachusett Community College, the place where you start near to go far. We are pleased to open a door of opportunity through educational pathways that will allow you to develop academic, social & emotional skills in a structured and caring environment.

The office that provides services for students with diagnosed disabilities at MWCC is known as Promoting Academic SuccesS, with the acronym of PASS. It is our commitment to provide Access and Equal Participation to every student under the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Who is eligible for services?

Any student that meet admission requirements at Mount Wachusett Community College, and is able to complete the College Placement Test (https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org) while obtaining a score that guarantees enrollment in foundation courses or higher is eligible for services. To begin services, the student must provide professional documentation of a diagnosed disability.

Students that are impacted by intellectual, emotional or physical conditions that might challenge his/her learning styles and voluntarily wants to obtain academic support must contact the Coordinator of Disability Services to initiate the process.

How to inquire about services?                                             

Under the statutes of law (ADA & section 504) in higher education, the provision of services for students with a diagnosed disability is on a voluntary basis. Every student qualified to receive services must initiate the process by making an appointment with Disability Services by calling the office at 978-630-9855, or by email: studentservices@mwcc.mass.edu or visiting the Student Services Department at Gardner Campus. (Room 141).

For appointments at the Leominster or Devens Campus, you should request an appointment by phone or email.

What to bring to the meeting?

Students with a documented diagnosis should present the last Evaluation Report (no older than three (3) years) from a qualified professional, for example:

  • Psychological
  • Psychiatric
  • Neurological
  • Speech & language
  • Audiologist
  • Certificate of blindness

In addition, medical documentation from an appropriate qualified specialist is accepted on professional letterhead and signed by the specialist. This documentation should include:

  • Diagnosis and basis to determine the disability
  • Treatmentrecommendations
  • Impact on physical and / or intellectual abilities
  • Necessary accommodations or recommendations for accomodations in a college setting

At the meeting with the Coordinator of Disability Services it is expected that the student will discuss his/her concerns in regards to the academic challenges that might impact their college experience.

When the professor participates in the process?

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After the Coordinator of Disability Services reviews the professional documentation, in collaboration with the student, strategies will be identified that will support the enhancement of the student’s academic experience. Such strategies are known as reasonable accommodations and the same will be specified in a Disclosure Letter that the student will hand deliver to each professor and/or support personnel. Reasonable accommodations are designed on a case-by-case basis and can be reviewed during the semester if requested by the student, especially if the implemented strategies are not effective. This is a strictly confidential process.

Since the disclosure process in college is voluntarily, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the professors about the reasonable accommodations with the distribution of the Disclosure Letter. Every semester the student is responsible for requesting accommodations for his/her registered courses (ex. fall, winter, spring, may-semester, and/or summer).

NOTE: The implementation of reasonable accommodations can take up to thirty (30) days, especially if there is the need to request assistive technology and / or specialized resources.

Mount Wachusett Community College does NOT discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age in its programs and activities. mwcc.edu – AA/EEO Institution

How we gather information?

By searching the student’s mental storage or learning styles, he/she will be able to identify the best strategies to be successful in class. Here is an example of learning styles as categorized by Felder-Silverman.    

  • Visual or spatial
  • Aural or auditory
  • Verbal or linguistic
  • Physical or kinesthetic
  • Logical or mathematical
  • Social or interpersonal
  • Solitary or intrapersonal.
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In higher education, students with a diagnosed disability who voluntarily follow the disclosure process are entitle to receive reasonable accommodations. These are strategies to be implemented in the learning process with the purpose of enhancing the student’s academic abilities, without interfering with the integrity of the course requirements. The reasonable accommodations are recommended based on the impact of the disability on physical and/or intellectual abilities associated with the student’s performance in the classroom.

Through the process of the implementation of services the students might benefit from learning self-advocacy strategies, obtaining awareness of innovative resources, becoming acquainted with the use of assistive technology as well as becoming familiar with his/her personal learning style.

Examples of reasonable accommodations

Some of the reasonable accommodations implemented in higher education are:

  • extended time for testing
  • low distraction setting for testing
  • E-books
  • use of assistive technology
  • use of APPs as learning tools in the classroom
  • seating arrangement
  • service dogs on campus
  • emergency evacuations assistance
  • *ASL interpreter

*Students with a hearing impairment in need of and ASL interpreter must contact the Coordinator of Disability Services to request interpreter services prior to starting the College admission process, tours, CPT or any other service. We do not have ASL interpreters on site.

The balance

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MWCC offers other services on Campus that are available for ALL students:

  • Tutoring services
  • Personal counseling
  • Complimentary health services (holistic medicine)
  • Career explorations
  • Leadership programs
  • Civic engagement
  • Co-curricular activities
  • Diversity programs
  • Clubs
  • Intra-mural events
  • Theater
  • Gym access – by membership
  • Nutritional Awareness – Dining services

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In College we Do Not provide!

  • Special Education
  • Modified curriculum
  • Specialized equipment
  • Transportation
  • One on One assistance
  • Personal attendants or aids
  • Professional testing for diagnosis

Additional Resources for College students:

Resource guide for students with hearing impairments: http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/students-with-hearing-impairments/

College Resources for Students with Disabilities: http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/resources-for-students-with-disabilities/

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities: http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/affordable-colleges-for-students-with-disabilities/

For more information contact: 

Amy LaBarge, Coordinator of Disability Services at 978-630-9330 or Room 142 (Gardner campus)

Tel. 978-630-9330 or email: a_labarge@mwcc.mass.edu