Learning Services

Suggestions for Faculty

A student who is struggling to learn can refer themselves to the LS Department to be tested.

The ten step assessment process will determine if a student qualifies under the guidelines of the Chancellor’s Office of Community Colleges Eligibility Model as learning disabled. If the student has a learning disability they have legal entitlements. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap against persons in programs and activities or benefiting from federal assistance. Thus, in a post-secondary educational setting, Section 504 and ADA mandate “reasonable accommodation” for students with LD.  

Reasonable accommodations include:

  • Extended time for testing
  • Distraction reduced setting
  • Tutoring
  • Books on tape or CD
  • Note takers
  • Tape recorded lectures
  • Readers for exams
  • Scribes for exams
  • Priority Registration
  • Assistive Technology
  • Use of a calculator for math exams

The Learning Disability (LD) Specialist will determine accommodations based on the testing results and educational history of the student.  

How Does a Struggling Student Get Tested for a Learning Disability?

The Learning Service (LS) Department serves the educational needs of students who are experiencing difficulties learning, including those with learning disabilities.

NVC students may refer themselves for diagnostic evaluation.  Information from the testing process is used by the LD Specialists to prescribe appropriate accommodations to support students in accessing the college environment.

Suggestions for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities

From McBurney Resource Center, “College Students with Learning Disabilities”

  • Provide students with a detailed course syllabus
  • Clearly spell out expectations (e.g., grading, material to be covered, due dates)
  • Start each lecture with an outline of material to be covered that class period. At the conclusion of class, briefly summarize key points
  • Speak directly to students, and use gestures and natural expressions to convey further meaning
  • Present new or technical vocabulary on the whiteboard or use handouts
  • Give assignments both orally and in written form
  • Announce reading assignments well in advance for students who are using taped (or assistive technology) materials
  • Encourage use of tape recorders for note taking by allowing students to tape lectures
  • Provide study questions for exam that demonstrate the format, as well as the content, of the test. Explain what constitutes a good answer and why
  • If necessary, allow LD students to demonstrate mastery of course material using alternative methods (extended time for testing, oral exams, taped exams, etc)
  • Permit use of simple calculators, scratch papers, spell check devices, dictionaries during exams
  • Provide adequate time for questions and answers, including an exam review session
  • If possible select a textbook with an accompanying student guide for optional student use
  • Encourage students to use campus support systems
  • Teach from the concrete to the abstract

More teaching methods to assist LD students with learning

  • Use a multi-modality approach when teaching (see, say and do)
  • Chunk the information into 10 to 15 minutes sections and allow the students to practice what you have taught
  • If possible, give students choices in completing assignment (traditional paper, oral presentation or project)
  • Consider giving students a copy of your notes
  • Make use of technology when teaching
  • Bring teaching materials to pass around the class to hold and touch
  • Remember, it takes repetition to move information into long term memory…allow your students time to process and practice the material