For Families: Preparing for College
It is very easy for adults to take over, making the student a passive observer instead of a leader in the IEP process. The team must make conscious efforts to provide students with ways to express their own dreams for the future, and feel free to agree or disagree with other members of the team. Students need to think about what they really want for the future, identify what kind of help and support they might need to achieve their goals, and come prepared to share this information with their team. This is a powerful step towards preparing for college.
Think about ways to include goals and objectives in the IEP that are geared toward developing skills that will support success in college. Several examples in five different domain areas are included in To Learn More.
While school has a prominent role in preparing students for college, parents will of course play a part as well. Parents can begin the gradual withdrawal of themselves as the conduit to high school teachers and begin the transition to being “a guide on the side” rather than the primary advocate. Think about what a student will need to be able to do while in college and start practicing! Laundry, cooking, money management—all things that young people need to know how to do that can be practiced at home. Listen to what your son or daughter is saying about college, and support their dreams.