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Services for Students with Disabilities

Student Self-Advocacy in Requesting Accommodations

Students with documented disabilities are encouraged to meet with Katie Sutton, Learning Specialist, to complete an Accommodations Worksheet and to receive feedback on how to advocate for their accommodations with faculty. The accommodations that are granted must be reasonable and are based on documented need. If required documentation has not been submitted as part of the Specialized Admissions process (see below), students must self identify and present documentation for review prior to making an appointment to develop course specific accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to make an appointment each semester to develop the Accommodations Worksheet and deliver it to faculty. Students wishing to utilize accommodations should request them within the first four weeks of each semester.

Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Documented Learning Disabilities

Based on documentation, reasonable accommodations might include:

Priority Access Registration (PAR)
PAR provides students with specific disabilities and/or functional limitations an opportunity for priority in the registration process. Priority Access is decided on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the student's documented disability.

Students who may qualify:

•    Students who have mobility impairments.

•    Students who have visual impairments.

•    Students who have attention limitations (may be due to medications).

•    Students who have various psychological/mental health disabilities.

•    Students who require access to alternate formats/electronic files of class materials.

Test Accommodations
Students who have requested and have been approved for test accommodations are advised to notify their faculty by providing the Accommodation Worksheet. The student must schedule each test in CSSE three days in advance and complete and deliver the Exam Proctoring Checklist to their faculty member.

Peer notetakers are employed to take in-class notes, copy them in CSSE and place them in labeled, course specific folders. Disclosure of the student requesting notes for a course is always at the discretion of that student. Formal contacts are made through the Learning Specialist.

Foreign Language Requirement Course Substitution
Students with documented language based learning disabilities are advised to select an alternative course to fulfill their Tier I language arts requirement. They choose from an approved listing of courses that foster an understanding and appreciation of cultures other than their own.

Access to Alternative Formats for Printed Text
The Learning Specialist will assist students in obtaining digital books.

Additional Support Services Available to ALL Students

Students are provided access to any service, program or activity sponsored by the institution.

Peer Writing Associates help students with aspects of the writing process:

  • organizing and developing ideas
  • composing a thesis statement
  • identifying resources for grammar and punctuation
  • assisting with citation formats

Peer Tutors help students with course specific content:

  • providing explanations of key concepts
  • reviewing course terminology, tutee's class notes, quizzes, and tests
  • suggesting methods for organizing information, materials, and assignments
  • help with developing effective study strategies

STEM Associates

  • Peer STEM Associates are available on a drop-in basis to help with questions related to science and math coursework.

Differences in Services in High School vs. Services in College

The table below may be instructive in clarifying some of the differences between services in high school vs. services in college.  Some accommodations which students receive in high school may not be applicable in college. For example, coaching and organizational support are not services that are available at MCLA.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act & Section 504
High School

Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504


Legal Mandate with aim to foster success.

Civil rights, non-discrimination to foster access.


School district identifies, evaluates and plans educational interventions in attempt to facilitate student success.


Students must self-identify, provide documentation, and request disability services.

Parental Rights

Parents/Guardians are involved and must approve plan for students under 18

Parental Rights

Students 18 and over are their own advocates; parents are not involved, FERPA law applies, mandating non-disclosure to parents, without students' written consent.


School may provide academic and non-academic services

Students are provided access to any service, program or activity sponsored by the institution. Services of a personal nature (personal care, personal attendants, academic coaches, readers, typists, etc. for out of class work) are the responsibility of the student.

Educational programs, student outcomes, class requirements, etc. may be modified to facilitate student success.


Reasonable accommodations are provided based on review of documentation to facilitate access; the fundamental nature and outcomes of classes are not modified.


IEP's and 504 Plans are provided


Accommodation worksheets are developed each semester and it is the responsibility of students to request the sheets, deliver them to their instructors and to discuss the requested accommodations.


The school district shares student plans with school personnel as deemed appropriate.

The student is in charge of his/her disability information and disclosure is made only at the request of the student or on a need to know basis.

Please note that disability is defined as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having an impairment.

Specialized Admission Process for Students with Learning Disabilities

Applicants to MCLA with a documented learning disability are not required to submit SAT/ACT scores. To waive the scores, however, students must submit the following:

Results of psychoeducational assessments conducted preferably in the past 3 years,

  • Aptitude testing (signed by the testing professional) with all subtests and standard scores reported (could be WAIS, WISC, KTEA, WJ Cognitive, etc.)
  • Achievement tests (WJ Achievement, WIAT, etc.)

    The most recent IEP and/or 504 Plan.

    • IEPs and/or 504 Plans serve to document the history of services rendered, but they are not sufficient sources of documentation in and of themselves.  All accommodations are determined by review of documentation.

    All documentation is held in confidence and is used only to holistically evaluate applicants. High School GPA, course difficulty, class rank and academic unit requirements are also considered for admission.

    Please note: Presenting documentation to the Office of Admission is not the same as requesting accommodations. To receive accommodations once enrolled, students must follow the process outlined above in the first paragraph.   Learning to manage one's own disability needs is critical to success in higher education.

    For additional information regarding services for students with disabilities or the accommodation process, please contact Katie Sutton, Learning Specialist, at 413.662.5318.