For me college was a different experience than for most people, because of my disability. I had to adapt the way I learn and accomplish my work. I also took a lighter class load than most other college students would. Throughout my college career I attended one transition program and two colleges.
In 2011 I graduated from high school, Minneapolis South Senior High. That following fall I attended a transitions school. I took a computer skills class where I expanded my knowledge and use of different programs including advanced Microsoft programs. Another interesting class I took was a government class. I also worked on my mobility skills and learned more about taking the city bus to different locations.
While attending Transitions Plus, I also did some precollege classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). This helped me prepare for what college was going to be like and fulfilled some prerequisites. In spring of 2012 I completed the precollege classes and finished my time at Transition Plus. That following fall I started taking college classes at MCTC.
While at MCTC I started to become more independent by advocating for what I needed to help me learn in my college courses. I worked with the Disability Office at MCTC to get the right accommodations in my courses. Some accommodations that helped me complete my courses were: having my laptop in class, larger print handouts, front row seat priority, and extended time on tests. Since I have low vision I had a harder time reading textbooks by myself so I had them read out loud to me by my family members, my PCA (Personal Care Attendant) or scanned electronically where I could read them on my computer and enlarge the text. Without these accommodations, it would have been harder for me to succeed. I took the city bus to and from MCTC during my time there.
I took many interesting classes at MCTC. Some of my favorite classes were: A writing class, a couple communications classes, Minnesota geography and Astronomy. At first, when I signed up for Astronomy I thought it would be tough because of my vision, but I worked with the professor before the class began and during the class. This professor was very accommodating and helped many times when I needed it. Without his support, it would have been harder to succeed in the class.
In 2015 I started applying to transfer to a college where I could get my four-year degree. I applied to Hamline University and Augsburg University (was a college at the time I applied). I was accepted into both schools. I was able to transfer most of my MCTC credits, which then fulfilled graduation requirements. Because of this I did not have to take as many math (even though I later did take two entry level math college classes), gym or science classes, which I would have if I had gone straight to a four-year college. In December 2015 I graduated from MCTC with an Associates of Arts Degree. In the spring of 2016 I moved on to Augsburg University….
To Be Continued…