Services for Students with Special Needs

Galveston College Student Services

Welcome to Galveston College!

     Thank you for joining us to accomplish both your short term and lifelong educational goals. Remember that a first-class education like the one you will receive is NOT something that just happens to you. Galveston College will provide the resources and support but you must bring the commitment. Commitment means attending classes, setting aside adequate study time, and utilizing support services.

     The Galveston College Special Services Office provides students with assistance and information as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 

It is the policy of Galveston College to provide equal opportunities without regard to age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, genetic information or veteran status.

The Galveston College catalog is the primary source for information about academic policies and regulations that govern students’ academic life.  The Special Services Guidelines answer questions specifically about special services.  As a student of Galveston College, you are responsible for knowing and abiding by the policies and regulations set forth in the college catalog. The catalog is accessible on-line.

Download the Guidelines and Information Packet.

All information contained in this Special Services Guidelines and Information packet is subject to change without notice.

Available Special Assistance


Download the Academic Adjustment/Auxiliary Aid Registration Checklist.

Example Adjustments Available:

  • Additional Testing Time
  • Priority Classroom Seating etc.
  • Reduced Distraction Testing

  • Disability Issues
  • Crisis, Referral, Career Counseling, etc.

  • Pre-Enrollment Advisement

Special Equipment Loan Request download

  • Text to Voice
  • Screen Enhancement
  • E-book information and referral

High School to College Transition 

Responsibility for identifying students with disabilities School initiated Student initiated – student must self-identify to the Special Services Advisor
Documentation of need for academic adjustments School provides – The school district provides free evaluations and testing. Student provides - each academic adjustment must be documented and specific to area of disability. Evaluations and testing are at the student’s expense.
Applicable Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA focuses on SUCCESS
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
Responsibility for providing accommodations School – Education is mandated and alterations in curriculum called ‘modifications’ are required with the focus on student success. Education is not mandated. Admissions and essential skills criteria must be met. Only reasonable academic adjustments for access are allowed.
Modifications Academics modified to meet level of student– Individual Education Plans (IEP), shortened assignments, textbooks at reading level, grades for effort, revisions and assistance on tests, exemptions from tests, etc. Academic adjustments so that student can meet level of academics –

E-books smart pens, extended test times, etc.) IEP’s and modifications of the course’s required essential skills are not provided.
Responsibility for planning course of study and deciding on course selection School – IEP team plans courses. Student – Student initiates meeting with the Adviser for course planning assistance. Student self-registers.
Advocating to obtain services Parent, student & school -ARD, 504 and IEP meetings Student learns to advocate for self with support from parents, family & Special Services Advisor
Follow-up School and Parents – Counselors, teachers, IEP team and parents follow-up during the school year. Student is responsible for self-disclosing, registering with Special Services Office and returning each semester to obtain academic adjustment letters for new instructors.
Related Services School – provides all services related to educational needs including rehabilitation and personal needs Student provides personal needs, resources & equipment. College provides physical and academic access only.
Responsibility for student behavior School and Parents are held responsible for some student actions and behaviors (ex: tardiness, absences, acting out in class) Student – is held responsible for all actions and behaviors and is expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.
Responsibility for assignment deadlines School & Parents work to remind student and possibly alter assignment due dates, procedures, etc. Student responsible for knowing the course syllabi, school catalogs and course schedules to assure adherence to assignment deadlines and other procedures.

Students who will be successful in college need a set of basic skills.  This is not a comprehensive list of skills, but can guide and direct students who are considering college. 

Students should be able to:

Demonstrate self-reliance Much of college requires student initiation and participation. Unlike elementary and secondary schools, higher education is for adults. The expectation is that each adult student is responsible for his/ her own education. The institution is there to assist the student in an acquisition of knowledge, but ultimately, the student is responsible.
Seek sources of support Most colleges and universities have advising and tutoring centers. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out these centers and initiate contact for assistance. College instructors will not ”send” students for help or work one-on-one extensively with an individual student. Students must seek out help on campus or at home (privately paid tutoring) when needed.
Read college level textbooks Even developmental and workforce textbooks require higher reading and comprehension levels. Instructors may offer assistance with a specific concept, but they cannot teach someone how to read or explain each and every concept one-on-one. In college, it is the student’s responsibility to hire and pay for private tutors when needed.
Write competently Writing in complete sentences and with complete thoughts is essential in almost all college classes, even those that are not English classes.
Have basic level math skills Courses move extremely fast. If the student is confused with mathematical concepts, he/she is responsible for attending math tutoring labs that are provided by the college. Private one-on-one tutoring help will be at the student’s expense.
Think abstractly Discussions in classes will include real-world events, require critical-thinking skills and higher-level thought processes. Students will be required to demonstrate these higher order processes on a daily basis in oral, written and skills formats.
Have an adult maturity level Regular attendance, seeking academic assistance, being academically competitive, being aware of assignment deadlines, drop, withdrawal and payment deadlines, institutional policies, etc., are all student responsibilities.
Students must also behave in an adult manner Outbursts, disruptions in classes, distractions, inability to complete assignments in a timely manner will all have consequences at the college level, just as they would at a job.
Have time management skills Students must be able to prioritize tasks and be able to manage multiple demands.
Have a reasonable level of competency with technology Registration, homework assignments, tests and other activities will be completed online most of the time. Students should come into college with basic keyboarding and word-processing skills. Access to a computer and internet access at home will greatly help in assuring that assignments and tests are completed on time.

College is created for adults.  Levels of competency, responsibility, maturity and academic standards are much higher than high school.

The norms and rules of college are much more similar to a job than to high school.

  • When possible, schedule appointments with the Special Services Advisor during times while registration is NOT occurring.
    Once registration begins, the counselor will have far less time to focus on any one student.
  • Have up to date documentation for a disability when possible. The Special Services Advisor cannot provide psychological or disability testing, but may be able to give you outside referrals for testing (at the student’s expense).
  • It is essential to know the current functioning level of the student. As students get older, their level of functioning may change. Testing done when a student is 13 may not be accurate when assessing an 18-year-old, especially if the adult has learned techniques to adjust.
  • Bring all documentation to the initial meeting with the Special Services Advisor. Psychological reports, ARD notes, IEP’s 504 meeting notes, etc., will all help the Advisor assess the most appropriate academic adjustments available to the student.
  • Have assistive technology needs defined and receive training on the technology before coming to college.
  • Have a clear understanding of what self-advocacy is and how to be a self-advocate.
  • Know how IDEA (K-12) differs from ADA and 504 in the college setting. Remember that laws governing K-12 have to do with student success, but laws governing colleges and universities only mandate equal access. College coursework cannot be adjusted in ways that modify the essential skills required for any course.
  • Be realistic in your expectations. If a student has problems in multiple areas that affect academics, college will be a struggle. Don’t expect the Special Services Office or instructors to be able to ‘fix’ every problem a student may face. Academic adjustments can be made, but college success is ultimately determined by the student’s abilities.
  • Plan for your transition to college. Visit several campuses. Talk with other students, Special Services Advisors and professors. Ask tons of questions. Learn how to access catalogs and schedules from each campus. Know what different colleges offer in terms of special services and academics. Realize that larger institutions will have more services available campus-wide because of increased budgets. However, there will also be more students accessing the services at larger schools.

The career you choose will be where you spend most of your time for years to come.
Take the decision seriously. Be prepared and ready for success!

Guidelines and Form Gallery