Promoting success in college

In “2-Year Colleges Help Learning-Disabled Students Break Into Math and Science,” Ashley Marchand reports about efforts to support students with Learning Disabilities succeed in post-secondary education settings. Ms. Marchand’s article appeared in the news source of record for higher education, the Chronicle of Higher Education.

For as long as he can remember, Robert T. Calloway has had a fascination with engineering and all things mechanical. He wanted to pursue an engineering career despite a diagnosis of dyslexia, which challenged both his confidence and his ability in the classroom.

“I first learned I had dyslexia when I was in the Army,” he says. “My platoon sergeant would make us read technical manuals. He noticed that I had a problem with loop letters, like p’s, b’s, d’s, and q’s.”

Mr. Calloway, who is 42, weighed his options as he neared the end of his military service, in 2005. He decided that somehow, some way, he had to pursue a higher education, to better provide financially for his two teenagers.

That fall he enrolled in the Community College of Allegheny County, in Pittsburgh, where professors and the college’s academic-support staff helped him work around his dyslexia.

Although the article perpetuates some questionable ideas (e.g., that students with Learning Disabilities “have hidden problem-solving strengths”), the coverage is generally sensible. I recommend the article to individuals with Learning Disabilities who have wondered about whether they can succeed in challenging areas such as mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. Parents and post-secondary educators will find it informative, as well.

Here’s a link to “2-Year Colleges Help Learning-Disabled Students Break Into Math and Science.”

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