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Going Back to School

August 11, 2014

When thinking about readmitting to a college or university, clients often will work with our Vocational Services Program at Skyland Trail. Clients will meet with me to discuss their strengths and the career path they want to pursue as well as the steps to get there. In some cases, it may be that a client found a career he or she really wants to pursue but, previously, did not do well in school. For these clients, we discuss the different accommodations that are available to help them.  Accommodations in school are given by the disability department after the student has been enrolled. Once the student has been enrolled, he or she will work with a case manager from the disability department. The student and case manager will then discuss the courses that he or she may need accommodations for and then speak to the professor about those accommodations.

Individuals with a mental illness are typically able to identify what accommodations they will need for them to do well. For example, a student may need a quieter place to complete the task at hand. Given the appropriate accommodations, clients can function well in the academic environment.

Some additional options for clients looking to return to school is possibly going to a smaller college or taking a partial class load, adding more courses over time. Clients feel like they have to take a full case load because of scholarships or school loans. We have found, however, that some schools will adapt their case load to be considered a full case load, even if it is not a full load, because of their disability. I encourage the clients to check with their particular college or university’s disability department for more information.

I’ve seen clients who have said they didn’t think they could go to school because they had a mental illness. I’ve seen those individuals not only go to school, but do well and graduate.

Learn more about the Vocational Services Program >