Students who attend public colleges and universities are protected against disability discrimination by Title II under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many campuses are equipped with offices and services for college students with disabilities. The goal of these offices and services is to address accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs.
To begin receiving accommodations you must first register as a student with disabilities, this is done with the disabilities service office in your school. Disabilities offices have instructions for how to register for services on their website. Remember the name of the office does not necessarily need to have the word “disability” in its name, you can also look for words such as access, equity, or accommodations. You also need to provide evidence of a disability to get accommodations but remember that disclosing your disability to your school is completely optional.
Examples of disabilities are, but are not limited to:
- Neurological conditions
- Sense organ impairments
- Musculoskeletal impairments
- Emotional or mental illness
- Respiratory conditions
- Digestive ailments
- Learning disabilities
- Organic brain syndrome
However, you will need to disclose this information if you wish to receive academic adjustments. All colleges receiving federal funding must ensure equal access to students with disabilities, meaning they have to provide “reasonable” accommodations.
Here are some typical academic adjustments institutions provide:
- Sound amplification aids
- Speech to text software
- Accessible testing locations
- Note-taking services
- Priority class registration
- Sign language interpretation
- Course substitutions
In college, there are programs that provide additional assistance if you or anyone you may know is a current or former foster youth. Programs such as NextUP and Guardian Scholars can offer personalized support throughout your college journey. Being in a community of students and dedicated staff can ensure you get the help that you need. Here’s a breakdown of the programs and how to apply:
What is CAFYES?
- CAFYES(Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support) is now known as NextUP. NextUp is a program offered to community college students to provide support services. These services include resources for financial support, transportation, textbooks, supplies, food, and emergency housing.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Former or current foster youth students that attend a California community college may apply if:
- You are a California resident
- You were established or continued as a dependent in court on or after your 16th birthday
- Proof of written verification of foster status(i.e. Court dependency letter)
- Under the age of 26 years old
Where should I apply?
- Students who are interested in applying for this program should visit their local EOPS office for more details.
Guardian Scholars Program
What is the Guardian Scholars Program?
- Guardian Scholars is another program that also caters to foster youth but on a larger scale. This program is available to students who attend community college, a CSU, UC campus or a private university. Services include individualized counseling, housing assistance, financial resources, and community-building workshops/events! The name of this program may vary by campus, but please contact your student services department to point you in the right direction.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Identify as a current or former foster youth that has been in the foster care system or has a status as an Independent, homeless or emancipated
- Able to provide a status verification letter
- Under the age of 26 years old
- Maintain a good academic standing
Where should I apply?
If you are interested in applying, you can visit your campus website and type “Guardian Scholars” in the search bar, or you can contact your Student Affairs department for more details.
NextUP and Guardian Scholars have helped thousands of students across California on their pathway through higher education. Although each campus offers its own particular services, their ultimate goal is to support the personal and academic goals of current or former foster youth students. Find out more information through the links below!
For community college students, click here
For CSU students, click here
For UC students, click here
For private universities, visit the campus website for their eligibility and selection process.
Here are a few examples of program benefits:
LMU Guardian Scholars
Trojan Guardian Scholars
Torero Renaissance Scholars
As a college student, you may feel completely fine one day. The next day, you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to calculating various college costs and fees. Fortunately, there are statewide programs that can help students like yourself with course materials, textbooks, and much more. Student success programs such as EOP, EOPS, and TRIO were developed to streamline a supportive pathway with additional resources. Here’s a breakdown of the programs and the services they provide:
What is EOP?
The Educational Opportunity Program was created to assist students, in order for them to receive support services to ensure academic success. Support services include but are not limited to tutoring, financial assistance, personal counseling, academic advising, graduate school prep, and more.
Who is eligible for EOP?
Undergraduate students who are:
- A California resident
- A First-generation college student(Neither of your parents has received a bachelor’s degree)
- Academically disadvantaged and/or come from a low-income background
- Enrolled full-time(Part-time students need to request approval)
Why is EOP important?
- EOP provides grants to students who participate
- Access to extensive workshops for academic and personal success
- Networking opportunities for community events
What is EOPS?
Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is a support program that is offered to community college students to encourage college completion. EOPS offers similar benefits to EOP, such as tutoring, individualized counseling, and financial support.
Who is eligible for EOPS?
Community college students who are:
- A California resident
- Eligible for California College Promise Grant Fee Waiver
- Enrolled full-time (12 units of more)
- Have completed less than 70 degree-applicable units
- Academically disadvantaged
- Pursuing an Associate’s degree
Why is EOPS important?
- EOPS provides financial assistance for textbooks, reduced student bus pass/parking permits and meal vouchers
- Participants receive priority registration for classes
- Opportunities for professional development and networking
What is TRIO?
TRIO is also a statewide program that aims to directly support students throughout college. This program was created to promote social, academic, personal and professional development.
Who is eligible for TRIO?
An undergraduate student that is:
- A US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or a U.S National
- A first-generation college student
- Able to provide proof of physical or learning disability
Why is TRIO important?
- TRIO can offer graduate school advising and exam prep, career counseling, and professional development skills
- Students are able to receive priority registration
- Students also have the opportunity to receive a peer mentor for navigating student life on campus
These programs collectively provide various ways for students to be successful throughout college. To apply for the TRIO program in any college system, you can contact the student services department at your campus for program eligibility, forms, and deadlines. If you or a colleague is interested in applying for EOP, click the following links below.
To apply for a EOPS at a community college, click here
To apply for CSU EOP, click here
To apply for UC EOP, click here
Higher education institutions in California have established statewide programs to provide resources for undocumented students. These programs offer support for applying to the California Dream Act, AB 540 information, scholarships and even more. The type of resources these programs provide varies widely across campuses and it can be different within the same segment of higher education. Some California campuses have physical centers while others don’t. The center or programs do not necessarily need to have the word “undocumented” in its name, you can also look for dreamers, dream or multicultural. Use this interactive map to learn about resources at each California campus.
California State University
Because of the current surge in COVID cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, the CSU is looking to maintain the health and well-being of their students, employees, and visitors to the campuses. Although the CSU is still drafting a vaccination policy, they are urging the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible. According to the chancellor’s office exemptions will be made for students and employees who can not be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons. But all certifications must be completed by September 30th, 2021.
Chancellor Joseph Castro mentioned that campus leaders are setting incentives, such as scholarships, textbooks vouchers or prizes, to encourage their students and staff to get vaccinated.
For further information, please visit the original article or official press release.
University of California
In early July, the UC also announced that it would require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for campus access. The UC policy explains that students and staff must show proof of vaccination two weeks before the start of the fall term.
Guidelines for how the policy will be implemented systemwide are being finalized and are expected to be issued next week. Look for more information from your campus.
For more info visit the official announcement here.
California Community Colleges
Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales urged local community college districts to adopt vaccination mandates. According to this EdSource article, at least 29 of the state’s 115 in-person community colleges have announced some form of vaccine requirement for this fall including the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college district in the state.