Profile a Place: The Student Support Services Program

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Time to Register

By:

Elizabeth Zhagui

I don’t think I would have ever gone to the Welcome Center to ask where the Student Support Services Program was located, if it wasn’t for my English assignment.  As I complete my paper, I hope to provide students attending City Tech with valuable information as to where the program is located, its services, and requirements; also, on how helpful the program is for students who identify with any type of documental disability such as learning disabilities as well as other physical disabilities.

The Student Support Services Program (SSSP) is very important for students to know about, especially for students that identify with any disabling condition.  The first time I heard about the Student Support Services Program I imagined a place filled with students getting assistance from professor or other students. It was a challenge for me to get to the SSSP, but I finally found its location on the second floor room A237 in the Atrium Building.  As I walked in an unexpected quietness surrounded the location. As I walked in the white hidden hall between the lockers, it seemed so empty and private. There were many offices in the back hall which who’s doors where closed.  There were many offices in the back hall whose doors were closed, cabinets, recycle bins and a printer were all located in the backs hall, I got the impression from seeing theses things that a office administration work went on in those offices with the closed doors. Following the hall a quiet study room is provided; in front of the study room there is another room with about ten computers; next to the computers more cabinets are located.  A mini class room follows with few desks and a green board.  As I kept on walking towards the exit, I passed the front desk and few waiting chairs. As I left, I never thought the location was really quiet and private, I expected more excitement and students attending the offices asking for help. You could always go down to the Welcome Center and ask the front desk to locate you to the right direction.  As I interviewed Linda Rivera she shared the same opinion that the location of the program was hidden and tricky to get to, but its name and location have never changed so if you ask around you’re most likely to get information about its location.

It is known that four hundred students are currently registered at this program which isn’t a lot based on how many students are attending City Tech. My interview with Linda Rivera provided me with important information on the services SSSP provides its members. Linda mention that one of their main goals is to “Accommodate the students, that way their learning style are met and that way they could be the most successful college student despite their disability”.   With this in mind they try to do their best to accommodate a student with disability.  The program provides accommodation for testing, assistance in technology devices, and note taking services.  With test accommodations, a yellow card is given to you to let the professor know that you will be taking the test in their offices.  The professor drops and picks up the test; whenever the test day, is you will go to the SSSP where extra time will be given to complete your test.  there’s also an academic advisor, computer lab, testing coordinator and a career counselor. Career counselors are responsible to help students with their academic goals and provide them with job opportunities.

There are different type of learning disabilities as well as visible disabilities like a student in a wheelchair, and the invisible situations as a students with hearing problems or visual impediment. Many of us don’t find this situations to be important because it doesn’t affect us, but in this world, everything is possible, an accident could change your life forever. So it isn’t a bad idea to be aware of the programs being offered on campus.  To be able to register as a student with a disability, you’ll have to have a written doctor’s letter saying the condition you have and his recommendations. With your doctor recommendation you will then talk to one of the advisors and together you’ll come up with a plan based on your needs.  Being registered doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole time in their offices just when you need to.  Every information given stays private, and the only way they could notify the professor is by you giving them permission.  Wanda M. Hadley provides information about a high school student life with a disability in which she says “Teams typically include the student, patents of the student, teacher  of the student, a counselor or school psychologist, and a school administrator, who implement Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and specialized instruction”(Wanda page# 77) which isn’t the same in a college environment you are the only one that could seek for help without your approval the staff of the SSSP could and will not do anything they are not there to babysit you.  The main key is to be registered if you are a student that identifies with a disability. Being registered will guarantee you that any of the staff will have your back in case of an accident.  For example if you’re a student with a disabling condition, and you have to be hospitalized for few months, they will privately talk to your professor who was already aware of your disability.  The professor will give you an incomplete for the course, instead of failing you.  It is important for you to register and talk to any of the advisors of the program for you to reach to a plan in case of an accident.

Don’t be afraid to reach for help from the SSSP; they will do everything in their hands to make your college experience a success.  One of the biggest fears of many students with disabilities is being treated differently.  Even though we are in a college environment there are always going to be unnecessary comments. It is important for you to do your best and ignore them.  Don’t let immature comments interfere with any plans you have.  Leave the comments a side and think about your goals and giving yourself a better future.  Education is your best weapon for successes, don’t forget to register, the Student Support Services Program is the office that will have your back if you are a student that identifies with a disability.

Work Cited

Hadley, Wanda M. “College Students With Disabilities: A Student Development Perspective.” New Directions For Higher Education 154 (2011): 77-81. Academic Search Complete.Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Rivera, Linda. Personal Interview. 7 Oct. 2013

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