Phone: (818) 719-6430
Fax: (818) 710-4219
VP Num:(818) 436-0467
6201 Winnetka Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91371
Fall 2017 Hours:
|9:30 am - 6:00 pm|
|9:30 am - 6:00 pm|
|9:30 am - 6:00 pm|
|9:30 am - 6:00 pm|
|8:00 am - 4:00 pm|
- Priority Registration
- English/Math Placement Tests
- L.D. Verification Testing
- Adapted Computers
- Special Orientation
- Testing Accommodations
- Mobility Assistance
- Wheelchair Loan
- On-Campus Transportation
- Brailler & Braille Printer
- Print Enlarger
- On/Off Campus Liaison
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Special Services Program?
A: The Special Services Program provides support services to insure access for students with disabilities. These support services include priority registration, special classes, alternative test taking, and tutoring (see the "Services Available" section of this handbook).
Q: How do I qualify for the Special Services Program?
A: All disabilities must limit one or more major life activities which cause educational limitations. Major life activities include caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Educational limitations describe how the disability makes learning difficult.
Examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to: learning, visual, hearing, medical (such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, or asthma), former alcohol or drug addiction, environmental illness, ADD and ADHD, and psychological.
Any of the Special Services counselors can verify a student with a visible disability (for example, wheelchair or amputee).
Students with a learning disability have several possibilities for verification. While a student is still in high school, we can accept high school IEPs as verification of a learning disability. When the student graduates from high school, we require that the student be retested by our staff to get the most up-to-date information. Occasionally we will accept outside testing if it was done by a qualified professional within the last three years and using the tests required by the state.
All other students must provide proof of their disability by submitting documentation describing the disability signed by a professional qualified to certify that disability. In these cases, the student is responsible for obtaining the documentation and for any costs related to securing their verification.
NOTE: Students with a temporary disability may qualify for services if their condition lasts for 45 days or longer. These students must also bring in written verification of their condition (see "Provisional Services Policy").
Q: Can the Special Services program suspend services to students with a disability?
A: Yes. Under certain circumstances the Special Services Program can suspend services temporarily or permanently. This can occur when a student fails to be responsible in his/her use of the services or when the student fails to make measurable progress toward the goals established in the Student Educational Plan or when the student fails to meet the educational standards of the College.
Q: How do the services from the Special Services Program differ from the high school services students may have received?
A: High school special education programs are legally required to provide whatever services, accommodations or modifications that are needed for the student to be successful. Different laws require colleges to provide "equal access" to education. Access is provided through "reasonable" accommodations. Unlike high school, colleges do not have a "school within a school". Except for a handful of special classes, students in college are mainstreamed with non-disabled students and are required to do the same work and are held to the same grading standards. This means that mainstream courses are never modified to make passing them easier for students with disabilities.
Q: Are the special classes at Pierce like the ones in high school?
A: In general, no. This is a college, so more is expected of students. All class work will be more difficult and will require more time and effort than high school.
Q: Does the Special Services Program offer personal attendant care?
A: No. The College is prohibited by law (section 504 and AB 803 and Title V regulations) from providing personal care to any student. This care includes, but is not limited to, assistance in pushing a student's wheelchair, toileting, eating, administering drugs or any other health or medical needs. Each student is responsible for hiring and paying for personal attendant care. (See "Personal Attendant Policy")
Q: What special classes are offered through Special Services?
A: We offer grammar classes for deaf and learning disabled students, reading classes for learning disabled students, and vocabulary, spelling, and study skills for all of our students.
Q: Will I get priority registration?
A: Yes. The Special Services Office has one week before the general student registration period and continues for the remainder of the time up to the beginning of the following semester. A student who comes toward the end of the registration period will NOT have priority over students who have already registered. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that students take advantage of the early enrollment period by coming into the office in person rather than registering online. NOTE: The early priority registration period is not available online.
Q: How can I get notes for my classes?
A: Special Services provides a notetaking service. If a student needs help taking notes in any class, ask another student in the class if he/she can volunteer to take notes. The deaf student should explain that he/she will give the volunteer special paper to take notes. The deaf student must come into the Special Services Office every week and get a stack of NCR paper. The deaf student will also tell the volunteer that the college can give the volunteer one unit of transferable credit for taking notes.
Q: Are there any costs related to Special Services?
A: No. All services are free to qualifying students enrolled at Pierce College.
Q: Does the Special Services Office test for Learning Disabilities?
A: Yes. We have a full-time Learning Disability Specialist whose primary job is to test students for a learning disability. Many students have never been diagnosed and need to be aware of the major warning sign: consistently doing well in most classes, but very poorly in others.
Q: Will my disability waive the costs of college?
A: The fact that a student has a disability does not mean that any of the costs of college will be free. However, if a student has SSI, that program will waive the registration costs of his/her classes. A student may also be eligible for Pierce's Financial Aid program and/or for the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (see a Special Services counselor for more information).
Q: What do I do if I need help getting to Pierce?
A: Pierce College does not provide transportation to or from the campus. Most students take the bus, and some students use a service called City Ride which provides door-to-door service to Pierce and other destinations (see the Community Resource section of the handbook).
Q: Do I still need to pay the student parking fees even if I have a state DMV placard?
A: Yes. All students are required to pay the campus parking fee. A state-issued disabilities placard only allows students to park in the designated blue parking areas. The law does not exempt anyone (disabled or non-disabled) from paying any and all campus parking fees, but students with a disability placard can park in a metered parking place for free.
Q: I have a visual or mobility impairment. Can I get help finding my classrooms at the beginning of each semester?
A: Yes. We recommend that students make an appointment and come in the week before school starts.
Q: Will my transcripts show that I was a part of Special Services?
A: Definitely not. No record of participation in the Special Services Program will appear on any permanent record from Pierce including transcripts.
Q: Will my disability information be kept confidential?
A: Yes. The only time we share the information about a student's disability or the services provided is when we get a court order, or when the student gives us written permission.
Q: Must I stay in the Special Services Program my whole time here at Pierce?
A: No. Participation in the Special Services Program is totally voluntary. Students may leave the program whenever they wish and rejoin it if necessary.
Q: Is psychological counseling offered through Special Services?
A: No. The Special Services Program does not provide psychological counseling; however, there is a school psychologist available by appointment through the college Health Center. The HELP Center is available through General Counseling for students who need immediate psychological counseling.
Q: Do I have the right to choose my counselor?
A: Yes. Special Services has three counselors. Students may choose which counselor to see or students can see a counselor from the General Counseling Office.
Q: I need to see a counselor immediately. What do I do?
A: Students can come into the Special Services Office and see a counselor. If none are available, they can see a counselor in the General Counseling Office.
Q: Are there disabled student programs offered at other colleges?
A: Yes. All 2-year colleges have disabled student programs as do most 4-year public colleges and universities.
Q: What is an accommodation?
A: An accommodation is anything "reasonable" that must be done to provide disabled students with equal access to the programs and services of the College.
Q: What are reasonable accommodations?
A: Reasonable accommodations are support services which allow a student to have equal access to the educational process without altering fundamental requirements or without endangering the health and safety of other individuals.
Q: What are some examples of accommodations that I might receive?
A: Depending on disability and how it affects a student, possible accommodations include, but are not limited to, extra time on tests, tape recording lectures, sign language interpreters, and priority registration.
Q: What are some examples of requests that are not possible accommodations?
A: Some examples of requests for accommodations that will not be permitted include, but are not limited to, personal attendant care, off-campus transportation, altering the requirements of any class to make the class easier, and different grading standards for students with disabilities.
Q: How do I get my accommodations?
A: Students must request any accommodations and prove that their disability requires those accommodations. If a student does not request an accommodation, the College is not required to provide it.
Q: Who decides what accommodations I may receive?
A: Each student and his/her Special Services counselor will discuss the appropriate accommodations. The counselor will help set up the accommodations and will make sure the student receives them.
Q: What do I do if I disagree about an accommodation?
A: See the "Academic Accommodations Policy" in this handbook.
Q: What do I do if my instructor denies an accommodation?
A: Instructors are not allowed to decide anything about a student's accommodations. Instructors must provide the accommodations. There is a procedure that students follow if an instructor denies an accommodation (see "Academic Accommodations Policy" in this handbook).
NOTE: Although it is not required, it is advisable for students to discuss their accommodations with their instructors. This will help the instructors better understand the student's needs and how they can help satisfy those needs.
Q: Can a college refuse to provide an accommodation?
A: Yes. All accommodations must be related to the student's disability and the related educational limitations. If a request for an accommodation is not related to the student's educational limitation, it can be denied. In this case, it may be necessary for the student to provide additional and/or different verification to substantiate the need for a new/different accommodation. It is the student's responsibility to provide this verification.
Q: Does everyone receive the same accommodations?
A: No. Not all students receive the same accommodations nor do all students with the same disability receive the same accommodations.
Q: What are the responsibilities of students with disabilities?
A: Students have a responsibility to self-identify their disability and needed accommodations. Students are responsible to provide the College with documentation (if necessary at the student's expense) to verify the disability and the need for accommodation. Students must not abuse the services provided by Special Services. This includes, but is not limited to: not calling to cancel services and failing to arrive on time for appointments).
Q: What are the responsibilities of the Special Services Program and of Pierce College?
A: Special Services and Pierce College must provide reasonable accommodations to allow each student to participate in college programs, activities, and services (including extracurricular activities). The College may not discriminate against students on the basis of a disability.
Q: How do I know if I am a full-time student?
A: A full-time student has 12 or more units. Most classes are 3 units, so that usually means 4 or more classes.
Q: Do I need to be a full-time student to attend Pierce?
A: No. The number of units students take is entirely their decision. However, sometimes it may be necessary to be a full-time student. For example, to maintain health insurance, qualify for Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, or Financial Aid. For more information see a Special Services counselor.
Q: What is academic/progress probation?
A: If a student has attempted 12 or more units and has less than a "C" (2.0) average, the College will place the student on academic probation. If a student has attempted 12 or more units and more than half (50%) of his/her grades are "W" (Withdraw), "INC" (Incomplete), or "NC" (No Credit), the College will place the student on progress probation.
If a student is on Academic/Progress Probation for three consecutive semesters, the College can dismiss the student. Dismissing a student means that the College can prohibit the student from attending Pierce or any of our eight sister colleges for two semesters (for a complete explanation, see the College Catalogue or Schedule of Classes).
Q: How do I get off academic/progress probation?
A: When a student raises his/her grade point average (GPA) to a "C" (2.0 or higher), the College will remove him/her from Academic Probation. When a student completes more than half (50%) of his/her classes with passing grades, the College will remove him/her from Academic Probation.
Q: What do I do if I am failing a class?
A: First, see a Special Services counselor. The counselor will explain any options and make suggestions about things the student can do to help. Never just stop going to class!!!!!! Students should discuss their concerns with their instructors. They are a great resource. If the student feels that he/she cannot do the work in a class, make sure to officially drop the class.
Q: I tried to register online, but had a problem. What do I do?
A: Students should always recommend come into the Special Services Office and register in person. This will prevent any registration problems and will insure that the student gets the correct classes. If students know the classes they want, they do not need an appointment. Students can come into Special Services, fill out a registration card located at the front desk, and a staff member will register the students into those classes. If there are problems with a class (for example, a class is full or closed), the student will need to find another available class. Students should do this themselves and not ask the front office staff to do this. Students who need help choosing classes or have any questions, can make an appointment with one of our counselors who will then register the student into his/her classes.
Q: I use City Ride. Are there places on campus that City Ride uses for drop off and pick up?
A: Yes. There are five places on campus. Refer to the map at the end of the hand-book for those locations.
Q: I have a disability that forces me to do things that might be disruptive to my teachers and fellow students. What will happen?
A: Unfortunately, any disruptive behavior cannot be tolerated in college. If students are disruptive in class, even if it is something they cannot help, the teacher has the right to drop them from the class. (If students have a disability that requires them to stand up a lot or leave the classroom, they should tell their teacher about that ahead of time. These students should also try to sit next to a door or towards the back of the room so they can either stand up or leave with little disturbance to the class.)