Q: What are the primary services College Navigators provide to students?
A: The College Navigator program helps students build skills beyond the college classroom and into their communities to prepare them to reach their educational and employment goals. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of each individual student but will include all or some of the services below (but not limited to):
✓ Connecting students to on and off-campus resources
✓ Supporting students to develop self-advocacy and communication skills
✓ Helping students to develop time-management and planning skills
✓ Assisting students with accessing online databases such as Blackboard and Moodle
✓ Support students with obtaining appropriate accommodations
Q: What services are not provided by College Navigators to students?
A: College Navigators provide many support services to college students (see list above + many more) but Navigators do not:✓ We do not provide tutoring (we can help students find tutoring services)
✓ We do not attend classes with students
✓ We do not do things for the student but do things with the student, so they learn for themselves and become more self-reliant
Q: Where can services be held?
A: We offer in-person services, virtual services, or a mixture of both to best meet the needs of the student. Services can be held on campus in a common area, library, meeting room, or at an Easterseals office (Boston or Worcester locations). We do not meet with students in their dorm rooms or in their homes.
Q: Are you assigned one College Navigator or multiple?
A: Each student is assigned to the College Navigator that serves their college or geographic area. During the hiring process, we ask for at least a one-year commitment for the College Navigator position so that students receive consistent and reliable services from an individual that they have developed a trusting relationship with through an entire school year.
Q: Do College Navigators provide tutoring services?
A: Our College Navigators are not tutors. We serve students pursuing many different degrees and paths of study by helping them navigate the intricacies of college including helping them find and connect with tutoring services.
Q: Do we go into classes with the students?
A: In general, no. There may be instances where we briefly attend a class with a student, but this would be extremely limited, would need to be approved by the college, and would have to be deemed necessary.
Q: How much time per week is spent with each student?
A: The number of hours a week a student receives depends on several factors. If the student receives services through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) the hours are determined by DDS funding which differs for each student. Please contact your DDS Service Coordinator for more information.
For students that attend a partnering community college, services and time will depend on the availability and the capacity of the College Navigator assigned to that school. A student’s needs will also determine how much time is allotted to services. Some students may only need 30 minutes each week and others may need an hour or more.
Q: Methods of communication?
A: We can communicate with students via phone, email, Zoom, or in person. Services and communication methods are individualized to best meet the needs of the student as well as the capacity of the College Navigator.
Q: Who do we serve?
A: The College Navigator program has four service options.
- Students diagnosed with ASD without a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability with DDS eligibility (DDS pays for these services).
- Students that identify as having a disability of any kind that attend these community colleges: Bristol CC, Greenfield CC, MassBay CC, Mount Wachusett CC.
- Private pay – for anyone outside of these parameters that needs services to successfully participate in and navigate college.
- Easterseals has alternative options for students with any disability who do not meet the other eligibility options but are interested in college navigator supports.
Q: Can we communicate with parents or family members regarding a student’s services?
A: College Navigators adhere to the student’s right to privacy and independence unless given permission by the student to communicate with parents, family members, and other service providers. For students receiving services through DDS we are contractually obligated to provide service information to the Service Coordinator assigned to the student. Whenever possible we believe in including the student in all communication.