Being enrolled in high school credit classes and college-level credit courses synchronously can be challenging for any student. Programs such as early college credits, and career pathway certificates and diplomas are ways to help students get ahead quicker in life as they transition out of high school. Students with disabilities have those same aspirations. The community college system and the K-12 systems work together in Davidson and Davie counties to provide instruction that follows legal guidelines for both entities to admit, instruct, and graduate students with disabilities that wish to be dually enrolled. To meet the legal obligations from the US Department of Education and Title II of the ADA, a memorandum of agreement is made to determine how student services will best be provided.
- IEP EC Staff and 504 Coordinators will provide services to students with disabilities at the secondary school level only.
- The DCCC Disability Services Staff will provide services to students with disabilities at the post-secondary school level only.
- Both entities will work collaboratively to ensure that all students with a disability are served in all classroom environments (mandated in the secondary system, and voluntarily enrolled in the post-secondary system).
Students with disabilities are admitted and enrolled in the community college system without regard to their disability. They are held to the same academic expectations and behavior guidelines as any student without a disability. As a student with a disability, they are afforded the opportunity of accommodations for their college-level courses; however, they must voluntarily disclose and provide the appropriate documentation, per Title II ADA guidelines for post-secondary institutions. Since they are dually enrolled, discussions with their EC Staff and/or 504 Coordinators can take place on the student’s behalf; however, it is ultimately up to the student and their parent/guardian if they want to pursue accommodations in their college-level courses. This also promotes self-advocacy in the student with a disability.
Students accepted into dual enrollment programs are not required to contact the college’s DAS office, but they are encouraged to do so in the process to obtain accommodations for their college-level courses. It is the student’s choice to obtain accommodations in their college-level courses or not. The process for obtaining accommodations in dual enrollment courses taught at DCCC includes the following procedures:
- As soon as the possibility exists that a student with a disability wants to dually enroll, the K-12 EC Staff and/or 504 Coordinator reaches out to the Disability Access Services Coordinator to begin discussions about the potential student and gathers necessary paperwork needed for the process to give to the student and parent/guardian. Before disclosing any personably identifiable information, the K-12 EC Staff and/or 504 Coordinator must secure written consent from the student and/or parent/guardian.
- Once a student is accepted into the dual enrollment program, the student must make contact with the DCCC Disability Access Services Coordinator to formally request services, and provide the medical verification documentation. The paperwork must all be submitted before accommodations are provided. The 504 Coordinator and/or EC Staff may provide the DCCC DAS Coordinator with a copy of the student’s IEP or 504 Plan, with written consent.
Please Note: Accommodations and aides are not automatically granted. Accommodations are subject to approval based on the medical verification documentation that is received by the coordinator. Any modification or accommodation that would substantially alter the essential elements of any course cannot be provided to the student. The parent/guardian, student, and DAS Coordinator can discuss accommodations and modifications that are available. Since the college credits received are transferrable to other colleges and universities, it is important to maintain the integrity and fidelity of college-level work.
Textbooks are often a financial responsibility of the student when dually enrolled. Students with disabilities often need assistance in making sure that their textbook is accessible to them. To get this process started sooner than later, students with disabilities must request services early to locate alternative textbooks, such as an audiobook, digital book, and/or braille textbook. The Disability Services Coordinator must know your class schedule and textbook ISBN’s to ensure the proper format is available before the start of classes. This process can sometimes take up to four weeks at the most.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What role does the IEP team have in determining accommodations for students while attending Davidson County Community College?
The IEP team provides the Disability Services Coordinator of the college a copy of the IEP and/or 504 Plan. This information is used to help determine what accommodations can be transferred to the college setting. Ultimately, it is the decision of the Disability Services Coordinator at the college to determine specific accommodations for college-level courses.
- Do all accommodations listed on the IEP or 504 Plan automatically apply for college courses too?
No. Accommodations listed on the IEP or 504 Plan are taken into consideration; however, some accommodations are not appropriate for college-level courses or do not apply to college-level courses. The Disability Services Coordinator for the college will discuss with the student and their parent/guardian what accommodations apply and which will not apply.
- Is a student with a disability held to the same grade rubric and behavior guidelines as other college students?
Yes. All college policies and procedures must be followed by all dually enrolled students.
- If the student is enrolled in an Early College program; however, college courses don’t begin for another year, when should the student and/or parent/guardian contact the DCCC Disability Office?
The semester before the college course begins. If your student is enrolled in only high school courses, then the student will only need the 504 Coordinator and/or IEP team. Once the student knows that they will be enrolling in a college course, and have made steps to register for a college course, the student and parent/guardian need to make contact immediately to ensure that all steps in the process get completed before the start of college courses