Improved High School Transition for College Bound Students Receiving Academic Accommodations
Project Access is a college preparatory program designed to facilitate the transition of high school students with disabilities into post-secondary education. The program strives to increase the success rate and freshmen retention rate at any post-secondary institute of their choice by providing instruction in relevant academic areas, career development, and college readiness skills.
Project Access is intended for high school students ages 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade (as enrolled in the academic school year prior to the Summer Institute program). To be eligible, students must be receiving a High School diploma.
Project Access offers a four week Summer Institute program on the campus of Howard Community College. Additional events are held year-round, such as our annual college fair, our parent information session, our half-day community workshops, and numerous social events.
For more information, contact Dianne Nagle, Associate Director of Project Access at 443-518-4625.
Participation in Project Access increases the potential for the college success of high school students with disabilities through:
- Improved academic preparation for college.
- Improved self advocacy skills.
- More complete information about the college admissions process for students with disabilities.
- Increase knowledge of college services available to students receiving academic accommodations.
- Instruction relevant to reasonable accommodations and the use of assistive technology and web based tools and software.
- Instruction in executive functioning strategies such as organization, time management, test taking, etc.
- Improved understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other legislation that protects the rights of students with disabilities to equal access in education and employment.
- Instruction in career development skills.
- Increased awareness of how to navigate a college schedule and college campus.
To improve student's potential for successful post-secondary experiences. This goal is accomplished through the Project Access Summer Institute, social events on the Howard Community College campus, an annual college fair for students with disabilities, and informational workshops for students and families.
To accommodate diverse learning styles in a range of academic settings. This goal is accomplished by providing staff development and ongoing support and consultation to college faculty, staff, and students. Each course is developed in accordance with the unique learning styles of students with disabilities.
To assist students in the establishment of career goals. This goal is achieved through providing a course in career development which will offer standardized evaluation of students' strengths, interests and values, interaction with individuals from diverse career paths and computer research of careers of interest. An assistive technology lab has been developed to educate students in the provision of reasonable accommodations in the workplace through computer technology.
The Project Access Summer Institute, held on the HCC campus, is an intensive four-week program of instruction in comprehensive reading strategies, composition writing, mathematics, executive functioning skills/strategies to support college success, advocacy skills, career development skills, and more.
Two additional Summer Institute components increase students' knowledge of the college process.
- Senior Intro teaches students the research skills used to choose the college that best meets their needs and interests and to identify appropriate financial aid opportunities. This class is offered to our students transitioning from their junior year of high school into their senior year of high school.
- College Readiness assists students in completing admission forms, arranging placement tests, meeting with advisors for course selection, arranging reasonable accommodations and tutoring, and selecting extracurricular activities. Twelfth-grade students also visit college classrooms and interact with professors to gain a better understanding of academic expectations on a postsecondary level.
Three weekly college visits to four-year schools during the summer expose students to college life and postsecondary education opportunities. Project Access students are also invited to participate in social events throughout the year, including parties and a luncheon.
Summer Institute teachers are credentialed in the area of instruction and highly experienced. Additionally, Summer Institute peer mentors (successful college students with disabilities) are available as friends, role models, and mentors for Project Access students.
Project Access Summer Program Tuition is $700 (inside Howard County) or $710 (Maryland, outside Howard County), and $720 (outside Maryland) for the Project Access Summer Institute. Scholarship money will be available for students in financial need.
A 100% refund is available before the Summer Institute begins. There is no refund after the start of the Summer Institute.