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Why in the World Would You Offer Preparatory Classes to Students With Learning Differences?

Why not?  Students diagnosed with specific learning differences (otherwise known as disabilities, if not strategically addressed) have intellectual levels commensurate with any other college-bound student.  Having a learning difference does not change one’s IQ; it only affects the way in which a student learns.  Put two students side by side with equivalent IQs, and you will have identical potential levels. The path of reaching these levels, however, will vary.


A student with a learning difference (subsequently referred to as “Enrichment students”) may require that a lesson be presented in multimodality form in order to reach mastery level.  In other words, in order to meet the needs of each Enrichment student, the lesson must be presented verbally, visually, and tactilely.  Those with weak auditory skills will have the opportunity to learn the concepts both visually and tactilely.  Those with weak visual skills will have the opportunity to learn the concepts through both auditory and tactile presentations; and those with weak motor skills will have the opportunity to learn by both visual and auditory presentations.


Post - high school educational institutes are now welcoming students with learning differences more than ever.  Many have established resource centers which assist students with accommodations and modifications, as needed.  Professors are much more open to the fact that these students often bring very strong thinking skills, as well as creativity, to the classroom.  Students, serious about their college education, will now advocate for themselves because they realize more and more that the similarities with other college students are much more prevalent than their differences.


All this further justifies why WCA is a leader in educating and preparing students for college who learn in a somewhat different manner.  Just look at the teaching style of Jesus and you will find that he used many various methods to reach his disciples:  parables, examples, miracles.  While we do not claim to have miraculous powers, we can definitely follow in His footsteps with a wide variety of presentation styles, all found within a solid Christian environment.


Come and check us out!  We would love the opportunity to work with your family!


Learning Difference or Learning Disability?

Being diagnosed with a specific learning disability can be quite frightening for a family.  Academic struggles are usually first noted by either the parents or teachers within the first years of schooling.  Confusion often begins to set in as parents try to understand all the new psychological jargon presented to them during the evaluation process.

The statistics vary regarding the number of students diagnosed with learning disabilities, but research shows that this number can be ten percent or higher of the academic community.  So what is a specific learning disability? According to the International Learning Disabilities Association, "a specific learning disability is a disorder of one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations".  In other words, the student has difficulty in the areas of reading, spelling, writing, math, or processing the written or spoken word.

Only a licensed psychologist should be given the opportunity to evaluate a student's cognitive and learning abilities.  Upon evaluation, if a student's IQ is significantly higher than his level of academic performance, it can be determined that he/​she has a learning disability.

Herein lies the answer to the "learning difference" or "learning disability" question.  Based on observations during my twenty-eight years of classroom experience, it is my opinion that if a student receives structured, comprehensive, strategic instruction addressing his various learning needs, this "learning disability" can eventually become simply a "learning difference".  When allowed to go untreated, this specific learning disability can, indeed, become a handicap, both in the learning environment and in life.  What better reason to address these needs early in order to experience academic success for each student?


Becky Owens, MSA Director

The Enrichment Center

Wesleyan Christian Academy