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Students with Learning Disabilities

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Admissions Information for Students with Learning Disabilities:

1) Curriculum. The undergraduate curriculum at Boston College is very demanding.  All students must complete 15 Core courses -- including mathematics, natural sciences, history, philosophy, and theology -- that require numerous reading and writing assignments.  Class sizes in Core and introductory courses range from fifteen to more than three hundred students.  Major courses in all departments are intensive.  Consequently, each applicant is evaluated in terms of his/her ability to succeed in Boston College's challenging academic programs.  We do not have a separate LD program, but rather services and accommodations to assist students in our regular curriculum.

2) Documentation.  The Admissions Office requests that you voluntarily submit documentation of learning disabilities with your application.  Diagnostic reports submitted should be from evaluations done no more than three years prior to the time of application.  These reports should outline the nature of the disability, specific cognitive deficits, and achievement levels.  Reports should also include a description of specific academic support services used in high school and academic accommodations that will be needed in college.  A statement regarding specific guidelines for documentation can be found below.

3) Admissions.  The Admissions office evaluates all applications and makes all decisions.  The Committee on Learning Disabilities -- composed of knowledgeable faculty and professional staff --assists the Admissions Office in evaluating the credentials of applicants who voluntarily present documentation of learning disabilities.


Guidelines for Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability:

Students who are seeking support services from Boston College on the basis of a diagnosed specific learning disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  The following guidelines are provided to ensure that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and support requests for reasonable accommodations.

1. Testing must be current
Specifically this means that the testing must be conducted within the last four years.  Because the provision of all reasonable accomodations and services is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilites on his/her academic performance, it is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation.

2. Testing must be comprehensive
Testing must reflect the student's present levels of aptitude, achievement and information processing. Tests used must be technically sound (i.e. statistically reliable and valid) and standardized for use with an adult population. Actual test scores must be provided. Standard scores and/or percentiles are acceptable. It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis.

3. Qualifications of Evaluator
Trained and certified learning disability specialists and/or licensed psychologists may conduct the assessment. Diagnostic reports must include the names, title, and professional credentials of the evaluators, as well as the date(s) of the testing.

4. Specific LD must be diagnosed
There must be clear and specific evidence of a learning disability. "Individual learning styles" and "learning differences" in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.

5. Educational Recommendations
Educational recommendations regarding the impact of the disability and accommodations recommended at the post-secondary level must be included.


Guidelines for Documentation of Attention Deficit Disorder:

Documentation must provide information regarding the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms, as well as the specifics of describing how it has interfered with educational achievement. It must include an in-depth evaluation from the psychiatrist/psychologist/physician who made the diagnosis, as well as specific educational recommendations. Information regarding suggested pharmacological interventions should be made as well.