Section Four: Success Strategies
Talking With Instructors
An important and sometimes difficult skill to learn is effective communication with instructors about your learning needs and accommodation requests. Here are suggestions to guide your self-advocacy in this area. In the DISH Appendix Section, "Planning for Accommodations," you will find additional questions and practice dialogues to help prepare you to be knowledgeable for an open and productive discussion.
- After you have the course syllabus or "green sheet," review the course expectations, requirements and assignments. Then schedule a private meeting with your instructor during his/her office hour. Use the campus directory on line to locate your instructor's phone number, email or office number, if necessary.
- Review DISH Section 2: Academic and Classroom Accommodations and Services, "Instructor Liaison," and DISH Appendix Section, "Planning for Accommodations." Prepare for your meeting with these materials and the course syllabus in mind. If you would like help to do so, meet with your DSS counselor or EDC advisor.
- If your instructor is only at the college on a part-time basis, you may have to prepare a brief summary in writing or by e-mail if they do not have an office hour on campus.
- Do not request a reduction in workload or an exemption from a course requirement. Unless it is an emergency, do not request extensions on assignments. If you feel these are necessary, discuss it with your DSS counselor or EDC advisor first.
- Stay in contact with your instructor throughout the quarter and ask what can be done if you are having difficulties in the class. Do not drop a class until you have discussed all options with your instructor and counselors.
- Instructors cannot legally alter the fundamental class expectations and requirements; nor do you want them to.