What you need to know to get started

We invite you to learn about the services that are available and about the choices you can make to benefit you as a student attending the University of Hawaii Maui College. We hope you will enjoy your exploration through our website. A goal for you and for us is to structure you for success!

Documentation

You will need to provide documentation of your disability. If you do not already have documentation, the Disability Coordinator can suggest possible referrals. This documentation is essential for you and the Disability Coordinator to develop your accommodation plan.


GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR DOCUMENTATION OF A DISABILITY

  • The documentation may be provided by a qualified professional.
  • The documentation should state a specific diagnosis.
  • It should indicate any functional limitations in the educational setting.
  • The documentation should include recommendations regarding possible accommodations.
  • The Disability Coordinator can provide you with an assessment form to be completed by a qualified professional (see Disability Assessment Form).

ACCEPTABLE DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION

  • family physician, psychologist, or licensed therapist
    • diagnosis of functional limitations and recommendations
  • Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Department of Education (DOE)
    • Educational/Academic Assessment Report
    • most recent IEP

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Disclosure of Disability

You are never required to disclose your disability, but in order to request reasonable accommodations, you will need to disclose your disability to the college. The Disability Coordinator is the individual designated by the college who determines which accommodations are appropriate for each student’s needs. This person gives primary consideration to specific accommodation requests based on your past experience with using the accommodation.

In some situations, you may request an accommodation you have never used before. This may occur in cases where the accommodations were not available in your previous education setting, or you may not have attended an educational institution since being diagnosed with a disability.

At other times, you may request an accommodation that was provided to you at your high school, but isn’t required to be provided in college (i.e. behavior aides). In these cases, the Disability Coordinator will refer you to community agencies for possible assistance.

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WHEN SHOULD I DISCUSS MY DISABILITY WITH MY INSTRUCTOR?

When you and the Disability Coordinator meet to confirm your request for accommodations, an accommodations letter will be prepared for you. The letter verifies that you have a disability, but specific information identifying your disability is not provided. If you have a hidden or non-apparent disability, your instructor will only know that you need authorized accommodations based on the Disability Coordinator’s review of your documentation and discussion with you.

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Confidentiality and Release of Information

UHMC views all materials pertaining to a student’s disability as confidential. This policy is based upon government mandates regarding the confidential treatment of disability-related information. Read on to learn more about confidentiality and how we manage your information.

  • Any written material regarding a student’s disability obtained by UHMC is used to verify the functional limitations of the disability and plan for appropriate services.
  • All disability-related information for students at UHMC is housed in the office of the Disability Coordinator. Each student has a separate file housed in a secured filing cabinet. Only staff persons working with the Disability Coordinator have access to these files.
  • Disability files are left separate from student’s academic files.
  • Disability information may be released only when a student submits a signed “Release of Information” form to the Disability Coordinator.
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), do not allow faculty or others access to disability-related information.
  • According to the Association for Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD), “Disability related records provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional are not subject to free access under FERPA.”
  • According to AHEAD, “it is only necessary to share with the faculty the information that a student has a documented disability and need for accommodation(s).” Faculty members have no need to know the nature of the disability, “only that it has been appropriately verified by the individual (office) assigned this responsibility on behalf of the institution.”
  • A student may request to review the contents of his/her own file when the counselor is present. All information in the file is the property of UHMC.

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Structure Yourself for Success

Everyone has heard the speech about being a good student-eat healthfully, get a good night’s sleep, don’t party, don’t cram for exams, etc., but how many really listen? For many, life and college just “sort of happens,” and we spend most of our time trying to keep up and get by.

Good habits can be the key to gaining some control of your hectic life and having a positive outcome. While establishing good habits is rarely easy, it will be worth the result while making you a better student and better prepared for life after school.

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BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE STUDENT

  • Know Your Disability
  • If you are a transitioning student with a disability, you will have to become your own resident expert on everything–about your disability, the ways it impacts your activities, and the ways you have learned to overcome it. This expertise can be the key to your future success. If you can identify your strengths, you will also likely be able to identify your needs and limitations. Knowing the areas in your life that are limited due to disability puts you in the driver’s seat for your future.

  • Self-Advocacy Skills
  • Know how to skillfully initiate action and interact with faculty, staff, and other students to obtain support services necessary for your learning needs. You must recognize your needs, as well as mainstream services and disability-related accommodations that will help you be successful. Make contact with those who can provide support or allow accommodations. Follow-up on these contacts and meet any requirements to receive the services needed.

  • Self-Management Skills
  • Take into account your abilities and strengths, as well as your disabilities, when scheduling classes, work, and social activities. If your strength and ability vary daily, allow for flexibility. Self-management skills include maintaining reasonable academic and personal routines on a daily basis.

  • Consider Your Needs
  • Consider your needs when learning new material. If you have a disability that makes it difficult to function in the morning, register for the afternoon/evening classes. If you need a lot of time to get homework done, take fewer classes. These are factors that you can usually control.

  • Study Skills
  • Study skills involve knowing how you can effectively learn academic content. These skills include strategies for note-taking during lectures and labs, reading, and test-taking. Development of each of these skills is important and leads to effective overall study habits. At UHMC, study skills Workshops are available to students free of charge. Many campus departments have tutoring, study groups, and open labs to help students be successful. Additionally you can take a course in study skills. Thoroughly explore the availability of these offerings, and take advantage of opportunities available to you.

  • Get Prepared for Class
    • 3-ring notebook
    • removable paper
    • pens/highlighters
    • colored markers
  • Taking the Notes
    • lots of white space
    • big margins
    • double space
    • Write main words.
    • Write text page numbers.
    • Copy important words with correct spelling.
  • Notes After the Lesson
    • Mark important points with highlighter pen.
    • Ask instructor for copy of power point slides.
    • Double check spelling of vocabulary words.
    • Compare notes to see if you missed anything.
  • Effective Learning Strategies
    • Attend all classes.
    • Sit toward the front of the class.
    • If you need to record lectures and this is authorized accommodation, inform your instructors before you record their lectures.
    • Take notes while you record.
    • Study with other students in your class.
    • Meet with your instructor if you are having difficulty.
    • Use a computer for writing assignments. Use the spell check and grammar check to help you with proofreading.
    • Seek tutoring assistance if you are having difficulty in class.
  • Time Management
    • Keep a master calendar. Make sure it’s large enough to enter assignments, exams, social events and important appointments. Use a calendar with preprinted dates and times.
    • Work backwards from the due date on long-range assignments and build in extra time for setting the project aside to just think about it. Go over this time line with your instructor and periodically ask for feedback on your progress.
    • Allow at least 3 hours for every hour of class for homework, studying, or reading for each class.
    • Make sure you have understood an assignment correctly before plunging into it. Schedule an appointment with your instructor for any explanations. Don’t wait until you have finished the assignment to find out that you have not fulfilled the requirements.
    • Often, the hardest part about getting your work done on time and keeping up with the workload is getting started on a new assignment. Start by making a commitment of 30 minutes and then lengthening study periods gradually.

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ATTACK PLAN FOR STUDYING

USE P.A.G.E. TO GET STRAIGHT A’s

PREPARE for reading by quickly browsing through the book and gather general information by answering the following questions:

  • What are the main topics?
  • What do I already know about this topic?
  • What special terminology is used to present the topics?
  • Who is the author?
  • How is the book organized?
  • How difficult is the material, and how difficult is the presentation?

ASK questions in each assigned chapter.

  • Skim (not read) through text, and turn boldfaced headlines into questions.
  • Create an outline that contains chapter title, subtitles, and all major ideas.

GATHER the answers to your questions.

  • Begin reading the chapter as quickly as you can to grasp and understand ideas.
  • Fill the outline with notes that pertain to the reading.
  • Do not use a highlighter or underline words. Instead, use a pencil to mark important ideas. Make marks sparingly!

EVALUATE your results.

  • Go back and reread each chapter to refresh your memory.
  • Answer questions and fill your notes with more detail that concerns the material in the text.
  • Write in your own words what the author may be saying and his or her conclusions.

Reference: Jensen, Eric. (1980). Student Success Secrets. Barron’s Educational Series, Third Edition.

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SUCCESS HABITS

  • Know Yourself – Use learning styles that are best suited for you.
  • Be Prepared – Have all books and supplies for class.
  • Make the Best of School – Take classes that interest you.
  • Attend Class Regularly – Arrive early and sit at the front of the class.
  • Know Your Teacher – Give feedback about each lesson to your teacher.
  • Make a Schedule – A weekly schedule reminds you of your own commitment.
  • Develop Concentration – Remove distractions; stay focused on your goals.
  • Reduce Study Stress – Anticipate deadlines; finish class projects early.
  • Choose Appropriate Study Areas – A quiet, familiar place is best.
  • Read Extensively – 75% of all information comes from printed material.
  • Study Bite-Sized Chunks – Large projects can be tackled a little at a time.
  • Psych Yourself into Study Readiness – Believe that you can do it! You’ll soon realize that you can do it!
  • Improve Self-Image – You are what you think you are. Practice what you wish to be–not what you are now. Wear clothes that reinforce your image as a student.
  • Use Visualization Techniques – Write down solutions to your problems. Focus on answers, not your difficulties.
  • Put Balance in Your Life – Organize your activities and prioritize.
  • Eat Intelligently – Eat several small meals a day and drink lots of water.

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KEEP MOTIVATED!

  • Set Definite Goals – Make specific, realistic goals and announce your goals to everyone!
  • Build Desire – Clearly visualize yourself reaching your goals daily.
  • Use Special “Mind Motivators” – List all the qualities that personally motivate you to do things, and then apply them to the learning experience!
  • Get Specialized Skills – Take some speed-reading and memory courses to make learning a lot easier.
  • Think Rationally – Keep an open, receptive mind.
  • Have Faith in Yourself – Develop confidence through positive actions.
  • Develop Positive Personality Traits – Trust and believe in yourself.
  • Give Reinforcement – Reward yourself whenever you reach a goal.
  • Develop Persistence – Never ever give up or give in to negative thinking. Determine that you will reach your goal no matter what!
  • Take Action and Make Each Moment Count – “Live each day as though it was your last. Don’t waste another day, act now, and determine that you become the most successful student ever!”

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ASSESS YOUR MOTIVATION TO ACHIEVE

YES or NO?

  • Are you dissatisfied until you really understand what you are studying?
  • If you don’t understand something, do you ask the instructor to explain it again?
  • Do you anticipate what questions will be asked on an exam?
  • Do you like working on a challenging assignment?
  • Do you set goals only that you can easily reach?
  • Do you make an honest effort to get the best grades you can?
  • If you are bored with an assignment, do you keep working anyway?
  • Do you usually complete homework assignments on time?
  • Do you continue to try even when others do better than you?
  • Is knowing that you are improving enough to give you a sense of achievement?
  • Do you really try to learn from errors you make on a test?
  • Do you believe a student must have high grades in order to have a sense of achievement?
  • Do you prefer to sit in the front of a classroom?
  • If you don’t understand something, do you just ignore it?
  • If you have been absent, do you make up the work quickly?

If your answers indicate a lack of scholastic motivation, you may want to meet with a career counselor or a personal counselor to discuss any concerns you have about your career choice and your success in college.

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