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LEARNING DISABILITIES

The Jacobson Center offers students with learning disabilities invaluable opportunities to develop themselves academically. Our services emphasize individualized, supportive teaching designed to enhance your overall academic experience across the curriculum.

Read on, and use this information to help you use our services to your best advantage. If you give us permission, we can work with you and the Office of Disability Services to come up with the best plan possible.

What’s in it for you?

One-on-one planning. You can meet with a professional writing counselor and/or a specialist in study skills to develop an individualized, integrated plan to support you in all your coursework. Come in early in the semester to make a plan; don’t wait until crunch time to check us out.

Long-term, supportive relationships. You can develop a long-term, supportive relationship with specialists who can support you in all your writing and study skills needs while at Smith, no matter what year you are, what courses you are taking, or what kind of writing you are doing.

Writing counseling. You can work on your writing one-on-one with a professional Writing Counselor. These meetings can happen on a regular basis or as needed, depending on your writing schedule. You can meet with a Counselor once on a paper, or several times on the same paper, depending on how the writing goes for you. You and your Counselor can work out a plan.

Study skills improvement. You can attend workshops and benefit from individualized meetings about your study habits, including time management, study skills, note-taking, and exam preparation.

Tutoring. You can meet one-on-one with student tutors in specific subject areas to get you through challenging course material.

How the appointments work 

Students usually make their own writing counseling, study skills, and tutoring appointments when they need to. Writing counseling appointments are usually a half hour; study skills and tutoring appointments are usually an hour.

Depending on your needs and the recommendations of your educational plan, you may be eligible for the following services:

Regular, on-going appointments (for example, on a weekly basis)

Longer appointments

Multiple shorter appointments (for example, to break writing down into stages)

Writing counseling 

You can take advantage of writing counseling appointments at any time during the writing process: to review and unpack the assignment, to generate ideas through pre-writing, to develop a thesis, to improve organization, to polish your style and sentence structure, and/or to proofread. As a rule, don’t wait until the day before the paper is due to make an appointment. It’s more productive and rewarding to come in early and focus on improvement rather than correction.

Other resources to improve your writing

If you struggle with writing, you are also encouraged to take ENG118/Colloquia in Writing, English 118 provides you with consistent, systematic instruction and practice in writing. If you take the course, we recommend that you (1) identify yourself to your instructor as a student with a learning disability; (2) share with him or her any information you may have about your learning disability; and (3) give your instructor permission to review your records with the Disability Services director. This way, we can work out a plan that meets your needs and goals.

Questions?

For more information about writing counseling, call Julio Alves at ext. 3033.
For more information about study skills and tutoring, call Gail Thomas at ext. 3037.

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