Disability Information Student Handbook

Disability Information Student Handbook

Section Four:  Success Strategies

Transition To College

Planning the Class Schedule

During your first quarter at De Anza, careful planning will set the stage for a successful quarter. Depending on a student's goals and prior college experience, they may want to consider the following principles:

  • Don’t overload.
    • Start the first quarter with a lighter load.
    • Mix “harder” classes with some not so hard classes.
    • Don’t take too many units or personally challenging courses.
    • Allow for adjustment to De Anza’s demanding pace and work.
  • Use placement scores, advisories, and prerequisite guidelines wisely.
    • English and math scores not only place a student in particular course levels but also give useful information on their general academic preparation.
    • "Prerequisites" are courses and/or skills that are expected to have been mastered before taking a course.
      • Some courses require prior completion of prerequisites.
      • Others state that the prerequisite is “advised.”
      • A student should use these important guides to help them know if they are truly prepared for classes.
  • Improve basic skills as soon as possible.
    • Take English, reading and math courses, especially if needed for review, as soon as possible.
    • These are foundations for many other courses.
    • There may be a sequence of courses to finish the requirement. Don’t delay.
  • Choose something of high interest.
    • It is important to enroll in general education courses, major prerequisites and to improve basic skills, if needed.
    • But it is also important for motivation to take classes the student would really enjoy. Choose at least one "for interest’s sake."
  • Factor in disability-related issues. 
    • If a student with a disability needs academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services, consider the impact of these on the course choices.
    • For instance, if writing is time-consuming, mix in some courses which won’t require as much writing.
    • The first quarter a student with a disability may want to consider courses which require fewer accommodations or adjustments to give themself time to acclimate.
  • Get help and advice.
    • Meet with the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist. They know the curriculum and can help plan well.
    • Meet with prospective teachers to find out about courses, instructional styles, and to plan accommodations.
    • Talk to other students about courses they’ve taken.
    • Arrange tutoring early if it might be helpful.
    • Stay in contact with the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist and let them help devise strategies for success.

Recommended Classes for the Transition

The following classes have proven to help students adjust to De Anza and to effectively reach their goals. Consider which of these might be a good fit for the first few quarters or soon thereafter.

  • COUN 50 Introduction to College
  • SPED 240 Assistive Technology Evaluation— Learn which assistive technologies will help with using a computer efficiently given a specific disability
  • SPED 245 Assistive Technology— Learn to use the assistive technologies that provide access to produce college work
  • GUID 202 Student Success Strategies - Learn study skills essential to organizing and achieving in college level learning
  • Adapted Physical Education (PEA) or Physical Education (PE) — Take a course to help your body maintain fitness and contribute to a healthy, productive mind
  • Any GUID or SPED classes (Educational Assistance course offerings for students with disabilities)—Recommended by your DSS counselor or LD Specialist.

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Last Updated: 11/10/16