Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Editorial Team
Entering college life brings with it multiple new exciting prospects. However, the selection of an ideal college for yourself can also bring along its own set of headaches. Brief campus visits and information brochures cannot alone satisfy your curiosity and thirst for more knowledge. There is always a fear of any future regrets on your present choice of campus selection.
Students with learning disabilities like dyscalculia may find it even more difficult to opt for courses that they feel absolutely comfortable pursuing. Thus, it is imperative to be aware of programs in place in the school you have zeroed down on, so that you may be able to harness your potential to the fullest. A supportive environment for students with learning disabilities should be an important factor in your selection process and a top priority if you happen to be one of them.
To aid you in this search, we have prepared a list of the top 11 colleges best for students with dyscalculia. We have prepared this list keeping in mind the quality of the curriculum offered, the support system in place, the results obtained over the years, and the general word of mouth at the ground level.
Colleges and universities with special programs for dyscalculics
11. Beacon College, Florida
Beacon College, Florida has all that it takes to support the educational objectives of dyscalculics. The college emphasizes an inclusive model of education and offers resources fully capable of providing comfort to students with LDs.
The course plans are amply individualized and there is valuable one-on-one mentoring support provided to the learners. Classes are studded with assistive tools of learning and students can find comfort in career and life counseling, peer tutoring, and other supportive features.
10. Adelphi University, New York
Adelphi University has a structured Learning Resource Program in place that offers one-on-one sessions with Learning specialists, optional group and individual counseling sessions with a Clinical Social Worker, assistance with course planning, and many other features. Students may also request specific accommodations like scribes and assistive technology.
Founded in 1896, Adelphi is a modern Metropolitan University that aims for an all-inclusive education. In line with its commitment, it became the first university to offer a ‘sensory room’ to its neurodivergent students in 2018.
9. The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson, AZ. Founded in 1885, UA was the first university in the Arizona Territory. Today the school gets more than $604 million annually in research funding. It counted among the prestigious institutions of the USA. The University of Arizona began the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) center in 1980 for students with learning disabilities mostly dyslexia and dyscalculia.
The SALT Center offers comprehensive academic support services to students who learn differently, including weekly meetings with a Strategic Learning Specialist, content-specific tutoring, and educational technology. Special attention is given under this program which includes a 30-minute appointment with a Strategic Learning Specialist every week.
In order to help students achieve academic success, peer tutors introduce them to a wide variety of methods, demonstrating how to use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic strategies to begin, develop, and refine their work. The goal of each session is to create an optimal learning environment that facilitates independent and lifelong learning. As of today, more than 550 students of the university utilize the services under this program.
8. Westminster College
Westminster College is a private liberal arts college established in 1851. Westminster Fulton MO is home to the famous National Churchill Museum. Some prominent figures included in the college’s International Lecture Series are Ronald Reagan, Harry S. Truman and George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Polish President Lech Walesa.
Established back in 1970, the Learning Differences Program (LDP) of Westminster College continues to provide encouragement and support that students diagnosed with learning disabilities like dyscalculia. As of today, 5% of Westminster College students are currently enrolled in this program.
The LDP’s services are tailored to meet the specific needs of students with professionally diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Learning Disorder, and Disorder of Written Expression. Special academic advising, test time extension, audio and dictating resources, and an appointment with special strategist staff are some of the services included in the Learning Differences Program.
7. Marshall University
Marshall University is a public institution that was founded in 1837. It is located in the center of Huntington, a long-time railway hub, and West Virginia’s second-largest city after Charleston. Situated on the Ohio River, Huntington is just 10 miles from the state’s western border with Kentucky and 150 miles southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Marshall University launched the H.E.L.P. Center 35 years ago to assist students with dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning disabilities. It was founded by Dr. Barbara Guyer, a nationally recognized specialist in the fields of education, learning disabilities, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). H.E.L.P proved to be highly successful in providing academic assistance and support to a wide variety of learners.
Currently, there are seven unique divisions and programs under H.E.L.P and each program is administered and developed by coordinators who work closely with a team of experts in the fields of education, learning disabilities, A.D.H.D., psychology, and counseling to offer the ideal services for their respective programs.
6. East Tennessee State University
East Tennessee State University is a public institution that was founded in 1911. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 11,323, its setting is a city, and the campus size is 366 acres. Notable alumni of East Tennessee State University include country music star Kenny Chesney and Michelle Livengood, former senior vice president of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
ETSU’s learning support program caters to the wide range of academic needs of students with learning disabilities including dyscalculia, dyslexia, and ADHD. Through the use of structured classrooms providing additional instruction, the Learning Support Program offers students support with essential skills in Mathematics, English (writing components), and reading comprehension. A team of dedicated advisors, faculty, and staff for addressing students’ issues is provided under this program. They work to enhance students’ essential skills in math, writing, and reading.
5. Bellevue College, Washington State
A winning feature of this college is an Associate degree in Occupational and life skills that the college offers. 85% of their graduates are employed, which is much higher than the National employment rate for workers with disabilities.
This is because they believe in engaging the students with the market at a nascent stage, students are instructed and aided to complete a 200-hour internship with a local business in their areas of interest. In this effort, the college has partnered with 85 local businesses since 2006.
Individualized attention is ensured for each student with learning disabilities like dyscalculia with a limited class size of 15 students. It now also offers online programs for its OLS degree.
4. Guilford College – Accessibility Resource Center
Guilford College is a liberal arts school in Greensboro, NC. It was founded in 1837 as a Quaker boarding school but later turned into a four-year college in the 1880s. Guilford’s speaker series is slated to host David Axelrod, Karl Rove, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Among its more than 50 clubs are a yoga club, a Quidditch team, and a chapter of Amnesty International. Guilford has 23 NCAA Division III teams.
Guilford College is also widely known for its Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) which serves the purpose of equal access and opportunity to all students in all programs and services. It aims to empower students to become strong self-advocates. Students with dyscalculia, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities are provided with adaptive technology software to support reading, writing, and study skills.
Other accommodations under this program include extra time for class assignments, a supportive and motivating environment, resources, and tools like recording devices for assistance. Students can come up to ARC staff anytime to address individual needs.
3. King’s College
King’s College is one of eight American colleges founded in 1946 by the Holy Cross congregation, a group of Catholic priests, brothers, and nuns. Located in downtown Wilkes-Barre, PA, it is now a liberal arts school offering 40 majors including several pre-professional programs. King’s College provides yet another high-quality option for individuals looking for a learning disabilities college program that emphasizes support in the first year of study.
Appropriately called the “First-Year Academic Studies Program” (FASP), this initiative’s primary goal is to help smooth the transition to college life for freshmen students.
The program is divided into two-level tiers. Tier 1 offers the most comprehensive program for students who need intensive academic support. Students will meet three times per week with a learning specialist to foster the development of meta-cognitive skills, and independence, and to strengthen self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
Tier 2, on the other hand, offers less involved and less direct support services. Students meet with a learning specialist for up to 20 sessions per semester to review overall progress, note improvements, and needs, and discuss available resources. This tier is designed for students who are ready to take control of their educational goals and manage daily tasks, but who may need periodic support and encouragement.
2. West Virginia Wesleyan College
West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private institution that was founded in 1890. Wesleyan was the only West Virginia school listed among 200 colleges and universities across the country in Forbes “Grateful Grads 2018—200 Colleges with the Happiest, Most Successful Alumni. Wesleyan alumni hold leadership positions in a variety of fields and recent accolades include winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, an Emmy award, a Dove Music Award, and a GRAMMY award nomination.
West Virginia Wesleyan College established The Learning Center (TLC) for students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention disorders, and other special needs. Programs under TLC are specifically designed to serve a broad scope of student needs, ranging from the individually structured assistance, accommodations, and services of our foundational program to our specialized, concentrated support systems.
The following programming selections can stand alone or be combined to fit your needs:
- Foundational Program
- Mentor Advantage Program
- Day-Time and Evening Check-In
- Lindamood-Bell® Learning Techniques
- Services for all students on campus
The Learning Center seeks to stay current with research in the disciplines of cognitive psychology and special education to implement best practices.
1. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private institution that was founded in 1880. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,170, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 226 acres. There are more than 700 registered clubs and organizations on campus. Alumni include Administrator of NASA Charles Bolden, film pioneer George Lucas, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, television producer Shonda Rhimes, and architect Frank Gehry.
Housed within the Division of Student Affairs, USC offers the Disability Services and Programs (DSP) which “provides support services necessary to enable students with disabilities to develop their maximum academic potential while having the dignity to work independently”. Autonomy is a top priority for the DSP which encourages students who seek their services to focus on self-advocacy within the mainstream of the school’s academic and social culture.
“While we provide personal and administrative support, our philosophy encourages students to take responsibility for their academic and co-curricular activities.” The free services provided by DSP include tutoring, note-taking, special accommodations for testing, assistive technology, and stress on meeting the unique needs of students based on their specific disabilities.
What to consider while choosing a college?
Choosing a college for an individual with a learning disability requires a little extensive research. Colleges offering correct support for students with learning disabilities are equipped with all accommodations required.
Students with LDs can find academic support through arrangements like math waiver, life and career counseling cells, and community learning environments such as peer tutoring. All these facilities help students rise above their disabilities and concentrate better on their positives.
Colleges conforming to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and IDEA Act have the arrangements in place for assistive technology required by dyslexics and other LDs for reading/writing, etc. These also run individualized education programs (IEPs) to make academics possible for all.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act came into existence in 1973 with the aim of providing social, educational, and economic justice to students with learning disabilities. Some colleges came forward to pioneer this movement of empowerment, after being strengthened by this act. Others, however, continued to maintain a certain nonchalance.
The former category of colleges has thus managed to rise in their efforts by leaps and bounds and even placed official structures and systems in place. The latter is now trying to catch up with them. Thus, this list not only aims at enlightening students on the best options available to them but also expresses gratitude to the front runners of this empowerment movement.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,