Frequently Asked Questions


General Frequently Asked Questions


 

Parents Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the general FAQs addressed to students for any additional information.


 

Guidance Counselors Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the general FAQs addressed to students for any additional information.


General Answers

Who are the students registered with Student Disability Services?

Student Disability Services serves students with appropriately documented disabilities significantly affecting major life functions. Students registered with our office have disabilities including; physical, blind, deaf, psychiatric, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, other health disabilities, and traumatic brain injury.

back to top

Do I have to be registered with Student Disability Services in order to be recognized on campus as a student with a disability and to have access to reasonable accommodations at USC?

Yes. A student can only be recognized as a student with a disability at USC and receive accommodations for a disability if the student is registered with the Office of Student Disability Services and reasonable accommodations have been approved.

back to top

Does registration as a student with a disability, and accommodation for a disability, differ between high school and college?

Yes. Because colleges fall under different laws than high schools, there are many differences. There are differences in areas including disclosure of disability, documentation and registration as a student with a disability, accommodations and services available, and student responsibilities in requesting and using accommodations.

back to top

I have heard that I can sign a waiver allowing you to talk to my parents. I've also heard that the waiver will allow my parents to handle college matters for me. Is this true?

A college student at USC can sign a waiver giving staff permission to share information with parents. However, you should know that even if a student signs a waiver, Student Disability Services staff only communicates with parents, or other parties, in the presence of the student. Also, Student Disability Services staff requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student.

back to top

Does USC accept an IEP or 504 plan from high school?

We will consider any information (including, but not limited to, your description of your needs; records of past accommodations and services from high school or another college; formal psychological or medical evaluations, letters from past health, education or service providers) when evaluating requests for accommodation. This information is needed so that we can develop an understanding of how your conditions are likely to impact you.
Any documentation submitted must be completed by a qualified professional (i.e. Medical Doctor, Psychologist, Counselor) and typed on letterhead.

back to top

Does USC accept a Summary of Performance from High School?

A Summary of Performance is not acceptable documentation. A Summary of Performance is a document prepared between the high school and the student to aide the student in transition planning.

back to top

How long is the registration process?

You should allow 2-4 weeks once the file is complete.

back to top


What types of Disability Services are offered? What services do I qualify for?

Services are determined by detailed committee review of documentation. Therefore, services for each student cannot be determined until the committee review.

back to top

How do I register with Student Disability Services?

For information on how to register, please review our webpages for prospective students.

back to top

What does the term "documentation" mean? Does documentation mean that you need my medical records?

In general "documentation" means a letter from a doctor, or a psychoeducational evaluation from a psychologist, depending upon your disability. We do not accept medical records because we cannot interpret and evaluate medical records. A letter or psychoeducational evaluation allows the medical professional to explain the disability and significant effects on major life functions.  For more details, please visit our Documentation Guidance page. 

back to top

Why can't the staff of Disability Services tell me exactly what my documentation should say?

Student Disability Services cannot tell you exactly what should be in your documentation because we are not your medical provider.  Please review the Documentation Guidance page for information.  The medical provider can contact Student Disability Services if questions arise.

back to top

Does Student Disability Services provide tutoring services?

Our office does not provide tutors, but tutoring services are available for all USC students in math and writing labs on campus. Students may also contact academic departments to seek tutoring at the student's expense.

back to top

I have had a documented disability for years, but did not register with Disability Services. Last semester my grades suffered due to my disability. If I register with Student Disability Services, can my past grades be changed?

No. Registration as a student with a disability at USC is not retroactive. You cannot be recognized as a student with a disability during a semester in which you were not registered with Student Disability Services.

back to top

I have a disability that sometimes affects my attendance. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Student Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows for extra absences from class?

Students registered with Student Disability Services as a student with a disability fall under the syllabus and attendance policy of each individual professor for each course. If a student with a disability is having difficulty with the class attendance policy, the student should speak with the instructor.

back to top

I have a disability that sometimes affects my schedule and completion of assignments, papers, and test preparation. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Student Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows me extensions for assignments, papers, and test preparation?

Students registered with Student Disability Services as a student with a disability fall under the syllabus and course requirements of each individual professor for each course. If a student with a disability is having difficulty with class requirements, the student should speak with the instructor.

back to top

I have a disability. My SAT score/GRE score/GPA does not meet USC requirements for admission. Can I meet with someone in Student Disability Services to get assistance with my admissions application/assistance getting admitted to the university?

Student Disability Services works with students after they have been admitted to the University. Disability is not considered in the admissions process.

back to top

I have a disability. I was declined admission to USC or to a specific academic program at USC. Can you help me get on a waiting list?

Student Disability Services works with students after they have been admitted to the University. Student Disability Services is not involved in admissions. If you have any questions regarding admissions, direct your questions to Admissions.

The Undergraduate Admissions number is: 803-777-7700
The Graduate Admissions number is: 803-777-4243

back to top

I understand you cannot help me with admissions, but should I disclose my disability in my admissions application?

Disability is not considered in the admissions process. However, sometimes students choose to disclose various life experiences in an admissions essay. Some students, for example, may talk about completing high school while working two jobs because of the death of a parent. Other students may talk about completing high school while dealing with a disability.

Also, you should know that if you choose to send disability documentation to admissions, they WILL NOT pass it on to Disability Services. If you are admitted to USC and decide to register as a student with a disability through Disability Services, YOU MUST APPLY for services through Student Disability Services.

back to top


 

Parents Answers

I have many questions about topics including registration as a student with a disability, available accommodations, attendance, 504 plans, IEP's, etc.  Where will I find the answers to these questions? 

We recognize that college is a new environment and a time of transition for the student and parent. Because college focuses on the student, these types of questions are addressed for the student on our website. Please encourage your student to read these Frequently Asked Questions.  You may also choose to view through these questions.

back to top

What is my role as a parent who has a college student with a disability at USC?  

Students need the support, but not the control of parents and other family members. Appropriate parental involvement must take place within the boundaries set by law and by keeping the long term best interest of the emerging young adult in mind. Such involvement as it relates to University life most often involves advising and encouraging the college life from the sidelines. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health of the student, allow for direct parental involvement.

back to top

What is my son or daughter’s role as a college student with a disability at USC?

Any student’s role is to successfully transition into an independent adult. We know that students with disabilities face the same challenges as every college bound young adult plus the challenges related to limitations imposed by disabilities.   However, their role still remains to successfully transition into an independent adult.   The time for dependence is coming to a close.

back to top

In high school, teachers keep me informed of how my son or daughter is doing in classes. Will a professor contact me if my student is having difficulties in class?   

In college, students should be aware of how they are doing and to seek assistance if they are having problems. The college is not permitted to release information about a student's academic progress.

back to top

Can I speak with a staff member about my son or daughter's schedule, so that I can help them plan the semester?

In college, students are expected to do their own planning.  This includes deciding which degree program to enroll in, and which courses to take each semester.   Staff members do not consult with parents about a student's schedule.

back to top


 

Guidance Counselors Answers

Can college students sign a waiver that will allow parents to speak with college faculty and staff on behalf of the student?

A college student at USC can sign a waiver giving staff permission to share information with parents.   However, even if a student signs a waiver, Student Disability Services staff only communicates with parents, or other parties, in the presence of the student.   Also, Student Disability Services staff requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations.   We do not work with the parent in place of the student.

back to top