I have had to deal with obstacles to my education throughout my life due to my non-visible disabilities. In school, I was not considered a good fit for college or university since I was involved in the Individualized Education Program. Therefore, I know how terrifying the uncertainty of the future can be, especially when you are filled with insecurities about your capabilities rooted in your disability. Thus, the issue of helping students from IEP reach their dreams and get into college is extremely important to me. In my future career as a school counselor, I plan to use the advantage of having personal experience to ensure the students in IEP get the best opportunities they can.
It is essential to do extensive research on the students’ individual needs and goals and create a safe space. While I plan to ensure all of my students are comfortable, I want to focus on the children in IEP, helping them realize their potential. In my office as a school counselor, I plan to collect resources from various universities and colleges and offer words of advice to the students that choose to ask for help. I think it is vital to create an atmosphere based on trust, in which the students will feel comfortable sharing their dreams, goals, anxieties, and struggles with me.
Furthermore, I will support the students in IEP by helping them contact colleges and universities and colleges of interest to them. Apart from giving personalized advice to the children, I will also ensure I inform the colleges in question of the unique circumstances of my IEP students. As essential as SAT and Common App preparations are, I will emphasize providing correct accommodations for the students in the colleges. Furthermore, I will talk to the colleges directly to ensure they are fair and non-discriminatory towards minorities.
Of course, I will also provide extensive information on the application process for the IEP students. I will make sure to walk them through the different paths they might take, from a community college to a four-year university, encouraging them to make the most of their strengths. This is because even though they might all be capable of applying to a four-year college, it might not be the best choice for them. Therefore, an individualized approach would be ideal.
Moreover, I will make use of the Intervention Specialist for documentation reasons, ensuring the students get what they want and need. It is important to keep a cooperative and communicative relationship with the teachers, advocate for the students, and get them to where they want to be. Since universities might overlook minorities, especially IEP children, I will make sure they are treated fairly and considered based on their skill-set.
Lastly, I will create a plan with the students in IEP to ensure they know what they want and what they are capable of and help them work towards their goals. Starting the processes early is vital, since it would allow for the necessary preparations to be made. Recognizing that some classes or activities are not working is also important, since it assists the student in realizing their full potential by choosing the right ones. I will inform my students of the financial aid that they might be eligible for and educate them on the different processes they might have to go through. And finally, I will ensure to give the most helpful and full recommendations to the colleges about the students.