Disability Information Student Handbook

Disability Information Student Handbook

Special Education Is Now Disability Support Programs & Services

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Section Four:  Success Strategies

Transition To College

Planning Your Class Schedule

During your first quarter at De Anza, careful planning will set the stage for a successful quarter. Depending on your goals and prior college experience, you may want to consider the following principles:

  • Don’t overload.
    • Start with a lighter load and a mixture of “harder” and not so hard classes.
    • Don’t take too many units or take all personally challenging courses.
    • Allow yourself a quarter to adjust to De Anza’s demanding pace and work.
  • Use placement scores, advisories, and prerequisite guidelines wisely.
    • English and math scores not only place you in particular course levels but also give useful information on your general academic preparation.
    • "Prerequisites" are courses and/or skills you are expected to have mastered before taking a course.
      • Some courses require completion of prerequisites.
      • Others state that the prerequisite is “advised.”
      • Use these important guides to help you know if you are truly prepared for classes.
  • Improve basic skills as soon as possible.
    • English, reading and math courses, especially if you need to review, should be taken as soon as possible. They form a foundation for many other courses and often require a lengthy sequence to finish. Don’t delay.
  • Choose something of high interest.
    • It is important to enroll in your general education courses, major prerequisites and improve basic skills. But it is also important to motivation to have at least one class you really enjoy. Choose one for interest’s sake.
  • Factor in disability-related issues.
      • If you need course adaptations or support services, consider the impact of these on your course choices.
        • For instance, if writing is time-consuming, mix in some courses which won’t require as much writing.
      • The first quarter you may want to consider courses which require fewer accommodations or adjustments to give yourself time to acclimate.
  • Get help and advice.
    • Meet with your counselor/advisor. They know the curriculum and can help you plan well.
    • Meet with prospective teachers to find out about courses, instructional styles and to plan accommodations.
    • Talk to other students about courses they’ve taken.
    • Arrange tutoring early if it might be helpful.
    • Stay in contact with your counselor/advisor and let them help you devise strategies for success.

Recommended Classes for the Transition

The following classes have proven to help students adjust to De Anza and to effectively reach their goals. Consider which of these might be a good fit for you for your first few quarter or soon thereafter.

  • Counseling 100 Orientation to College
  • Sped 140 Assistive Technology Evaluation— Learn which assistive technologies will help you use a computer efficiently given your disability
  • Sped 145 Assistive Technology— Learn to use the assistive technologies that provide access for you to produce college work
  • Guidance 102 Student Success Strategies or Human Development 57 Life Skills for Higher Education— Learn study skills essential to organizing and achieving in college level learning
  • Adapted Physical Education or P.E.— Take a course to help your body maintain fitness and contribute to a healthy, productive mind
  • CLP 70 Self-Assessment— If you don’t know what your goals are, these can help you decide about careers and majors
  • Any Guidance or Sped classes (course offerings for students with disabilities)—Recommended by your DSS counselor or EDC advisor


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Last Updated: 4/28/09